Estates in New Zealand can be challenged in New Zealand for a number of reasons.

Are you wanting to know what your rights are? Has a Will not properly provided for you or have you not received what you were promised from someone’s estate? Did the deceased have a good understanding of the Will and did it reflect their wishes? You may be able to contest the Will.


Contact us for specialist advice based on your circumstances

There are various ways that a Will can be challenged.

A Will can be challenged by making a claim under the Family Protection Act 1955. A will-maker has a moral duty to provide for certain family members including their spouse or partner, children, grandchildren, parents and stepchildren (if they were being maintained by the deceased immediately before their death).

A Will can also be challenged by making a claim under the Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949. A claim under this Act may occur if a promise has been made, yet not formalised in the Will of the deceased. It should be noted that a claim under this Act can be brought by someone who is not related to the deceased. The promise must be made in relation to a service that has been carried out which goes beyond the usual obligations of natural love and affection.

A claim can be brought under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. A claim under this Act can only be made by a spouse, a civil union partner or a de facto partner of the deceased. This claim is based on the premise that the property is to be shared equally between the two parties. Here, a choice must be made as to whether you accept the provision made in the Will or whether you wish to make a claim under the Act.

Do you want more information about whether you can make a claim? Contact us without delay.

Strict timeframes apply when challenging an estate. We can give you advice on your circumstances to assist you in making an informed decision. The Executors of the estate need to be formally notified there is an intended claim by no later than 6 months from the date of Grant of Probate.