Not just anyone can oppose a grant of probate, or contest the validity of a will. You must have what the law calls “standing“. And you only have standing (or locus standi) to oppose a probate application or contest the validity of a will if you have a legal interest in the estate of a deceased person.
Further, it is important to be able to show that the interest is enough so as to entitle you to oppose the grant of probate being applied for; and so have standing to bring an action disputing the validity of the will.
Inheritance in domestic relationships and stepchildren
A stepchild’s eligibility under the statutory rules for seeking provision from a step-parent’s deceased estate can be difficult.
In a Victorian case1 the executor of a deceased estate applied to the Supreme Court to have a claim for family provision dismissed.
The claim was brought by the adult daughter of the deceased’s former domestic partner, who had died some years before. She had been left out of his will, despite assurances and promises to the contrary. The deceased had left everything to his new domestic partner.
An estranged daughter, one of two sisters and the only children of their deceased mother, were engaged in legal proceedings in a contest over their mother’s deceased estate.1 In The Supreme Court of New South Wales, it was said that
The case provides yet another example of the high level of emotion that is generated in relation to the distribution of the property of a parent, particularly in circumstances where there is said to have been an estrangement between the Plaintiff and the deceased for some years prior to the death of the deceased.