Leaving someone out of your Will.
I’ve run out of fingers and toes to count how many times I have been asked if leaving a nominal amount in your Will to someone will prevent them from making a claim on your estate when you pass away.
I’ll cut to the chase. No, it won’t.
Why? In NSW, any ‘eligible person’ has the right under law to claim on your estate. Full Stop. Period. It’s a matter of eligibility, it’s the law and it can’t be taken away unless you’re in the minority and Court Orders were made during your lifetime that bind your various beneficiaries in terms of what they’ll receive after your death. This is understandably an expensive process and only sought in extenuating circumstances.
Contesting a Will in NSW
Who can claim on a deceased estate?
Eligible persons include your (de facto and married) spouse, your former spouse, your children, someone living with you at the time of your death, a grandchild who was dependent on you or anyone who ever lived with you and was dependent on you.
While leaving a nominal amount to a beneficiary does not prevent them from claiming on your estate, sometimes – in very limited circumstances – if the gift comes close to satisfying what that person’s expectation from your estate may have been, it may reduce the likelihood that they will want to claim.
Other times leaving a small amount to someone will have no effect on their willingness to claim – and if the gift ends up getting distributed to them within the timeframe they can file a claim – it may even fund their legal fees to claim.
Writing a Will in NSW
Quick tip? You should make your Will to reflect your wishes.
A good Will is one that reflects your wishes and is fair and equitable in your mind. While you can’t take away the right of an eligible person to claim, there are many things you can do to reduce the likelihood of a successful claim. That’s where a good lawyer comes in because that’s what we’re all about – reducing risk and achieving your goals.
Wills and Estates Lawyer
We’ll look after you.