Recently, we successfully secured our client’s inheritance in a disputed Probate Application which involved a Will Kit will.
Please note that the names and specific facts of the case have been changed in order to protect the identity of the people involved in this case.
Jill had created a will through a lawyer several years ago, leaving everything to her son, Jack. Jack had an estranged relationship with Jill, and had moved overseas to pursue his business, having little contact with his mother after the move.
Some years had passed, and Jill decided to go on vacation, summiting mountains and exploring the depths of jungles. Before leaving on her dangerous journey, Jill popped down to her local post office to purchase a Will Kit. In this will, she left only 50% of her estate to her son, and split the remaining 50% in equal shares between her two nieces, Kylie and Dani. Jill had a close, maternal relationship with the girls. Jill had two neighbours witness the Will Kit’s will and sign on the last page.
Jill returned from her adventure, and lived for a few more years. She believed the will produced from the Will Kit reflected her final testamentary wishes and would be honoured.
Unfortunately, Jill had forgotten to sign the will from the Will Kit properly! As a result, Jack admitted the previous will to Probate, arguing that the more recent Will Kit will was invalid, and consequently claiming the entire estate as his inheritance despite the bequests made in the Will Kit’s will.
How did Northern Beaches Lawyers help?
Our clients sought our advice to secure their inheritance and stop their uncle from taking all the estate.
We represented the nieces, Kylie and Dani, in a Probate Suit, arguing that although the Will Kit’s will lacked the correct signatures and suffered from other defects, it reflected the final testamentary intentions of Jill. Therefore, it should be taken into account as Jill’s final testamentary wishes. Had the Will Kit will been properly signed, it could have been admitted to Probate and the estate would have been distributed in accordance with Jills’ wishes.
Instead, a challenge to the earlier Will had to be prosecuted. We argued that Jills’ final and actual testamentary intentions were not being respected if the earlier will was admitted to Probate, as she no longer intended for the entirety of the estate to be gifted to her son. This required detailed evidence and legal argument to be undertaken for our clients.
We were successful in our challenge, and James was forced to transfer part of the estate to Kylie and Dani.
How does this case help you?
If you are an executor defending a will or a claimant left out of a will or you need to fight for your inheritance, contact us to speak about your case. You will receive advice from solicitors who are specialists in wills and estate law, and have a proven track record of success.
We have experience in securing the inheritance promised to our clients and defending estates from claims made against them. If you require any assistance in wills and estate court cases, contact us today.