Leaving a gift to a favourite or meaningful charity is one of the most powerful and rewarding things a person can do when preparing their will. However, if you plan to make a significant gift, it is vital to receive accurate legal advice when making your will to ensure that what you think is going to be the effect of the gift is what happens and that the gift isn’t challenged.
If there are people in your life who you have an obligation to support, they may be able to challenge such a gift made in your will. If it could be considered that you have such an obligation, then your will needs to be carefully constructed so that any Court understands why you have made the decision to distribute your estate in the manner you have, that you knew what you were doing and that were good reasons for your decision.
If your will is challenged, the Court has powers under Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act to provide provision to eligible persons you owed a duty of proper maintenance or support.
Persons that may be eligible to make a claim against your estate include a spouse or partner, a child or a step-child.
Simply because someone can make a claim against your Estate does not mean that they will be successful, however as these issues will be dealt with when you are no longer here it is important that you have provided significant information which gives context to your decision to assist the Court in determining if a claim should fail.
This is yet another example of why it is so vital to get quality legal advice when making your will. Call our Will & Powers of Attorney team on 03 5445 1000 and they will be able to help.