If you have been left out of a will or not adequately provided for and you are an eligible person you can contest a will. If you are successful, the Court will redraw the will so that adequate provision is made for your proper maintenance, education and advancement of life.
To make a claim (called a family provisions claim) you must be an eligible person. An eligible person is defined in the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) as
You must also show that you have not received adequate provision for your proper maintenance, education or advancement of life in the deceased’s will. Each case will be determined on its facts. A court will, in determining the matter, consider the following:
A claim is made by filing an application in court along with a detailed Affidavit setting out the circumstances of the case. The estate will respond and file its own evidence. The matter will then be listed for compulsory mediation. If the claim does not resolve at mediation it will be listed for hearing. If a matter proceeds to hearing, then it normally takes between 12 to 18 months to finalise.
Importantly, strict time limits apply. In NSW, a claim must be commenced within 12 months from the date of death. There is limited scope for obtaining an extension of time. In other states different time limits apply.