Can you leave out a potential beneficiary?

WHETHER you are making a Will and want to know if you can leave out a potential beneficiary - or you believe you have been unfairly left out of a Will - the same basic rules apply to most cases.

Potential claimants are limited to a defined range of beneficiaries who sometimes need to satisfy certain tests before they can be considered eligible to claim.

This means that, when you are making your Will, careful attention needs to be given to whether all of the potential claimants have been identified and considered appropriately.

This process can often highlight issues that need to be covered in your Will to ensure that they are correctly dealt with and, importantly, to reduce the chance of a claim.

If you are considering making a claim against a deceased estate you need to be aware that strict time limits apply for giving notice and then filing a claim in court if you decide to proceed.

With some limited exceptions this means that you will need to notify the executors of the estate of your intention to make a claim within six months of the date of death and then file the claim within a further three months.

During these periods there is an opportunity to gather information about the estate (including a copy of the Will and some information about the assets and liabilities in the Estate) and to explore whether it is possible to resolve your claim before going to court.

The consequences of failing to properly address these issues - or deciding to make a claim - can be costly, time consuming and are often emotionally draining.

Getting professional advice can help prevent a difficult situation from becoming much worse.

For more information, phone Kennedy Spanner Lawyers on 4639 2944.

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