Contesting a Will in WA: Everything You Need To Know

Who can challenge a will in Western Australia?

An application for provision out of the estate of any deceased person may be made by or on behalf of a spouse, a de facto partner (or a former spouse or de facto partner in limited circumstances), a child, a parent and, in some limited circumstances, a grandchild and stepchild. Learn more about what a will is and what happens if you die without a will in Western Australia.

How long do I have to challenge a will in Western Australia?

In accordance with the provisions of the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA), the time limit to challenge a will (i.e. issue a will dispute) is 6 months from the date of the grant of probate or letters of administration.

Can siblings contest a will in Western Australia?

A sibling is not an eligible person for the purpose of the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA).

Can an ex-spouse contest a will in Western Australia?

A person who at the date of the death of the deceased was receiving or entitled to receive maintenance from the deceased as a former spouse or former de facto partner of the deceased whether pursuant to an order of any court, or to an agreement or otherwise may apply for provision from a deceased estate. 

Is it expensive to contest a will in Western Australia?

It can be. However, the Supreme Court of Western Australia adopts procedures to ensure that applications pursuant to the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA) are dealt with expeditiously and cost effectively and that excessive or unnecessary costs are not incurred. Litigants and potential litigants will generally benefit by obtaining expert advice from an experienced estate lawyer as early as possible after the death of the deceased person.

What does the court consider when someone challenges a will? If the Supreme Court of Western Australia is of the opinion that the disposition of the deceased’s estate effected by his or her will, or the law relating to intestacy, or the combination of his or her will and that law, is not such as to make adequate provision from the estate for the proper maintenance, support, education or advancement in life of an eligible person it may order that such provision as the Court thinks fit is made out of the estate of the deceased for that purpose. In forming its opinion the Supreme Court of Western Australia will have regard to the applicant’s financial position, relationship with the deceased, the size of the estate and the deceased’s relationship with other persons who are or may be eligible to make a claim against the estate and their financial circumstances as at the date of the deceased’s death. Adequate provision is complex and difficult to define as it varies with every unique case.