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The Forfeiture Rule

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The Forfeiture Rule

Our lawyers understand the many facets of challenging a Will.

The Forfeiture Rule

Thinking About Challenging A Will?

RHC Solicitors have extensive experience in Wills and estates, including contesting or challenging a Will. Our Queensland lawyers are strongly connected to prominent estate professionals and barristers and understand the complexities and requirements when it comes to the grounds to challenge or contest a Will.

In the event the testators death has been caused by the criminal conduct of another person who is entitle to receive a benefit under their Will, it is well established that their conduct may be such as to preclude them from receiving the gift. This is known as the ‘forfeiture rule’.

The person who has committed such an act is also excluded from benefiting from assets which do not necessarily form part of the estate such joint tenancy property (right of survivorship), superannuation proceeds and even life insurance.

In Queensland, there is no specific legislation dealing with the ‘forfeiture rule’, however, the principles are set out in the common law (case law).

A good example of the ‘forfeiture rule’ applying is the Baden-Clay case. The common law forfeiture rule applied to the husband and would have applied even if his murder conviction was downgraded to manslaughter. There was also argument that the motive behind Allison’s murder was the financial benefit that the husband, Baden-Clay, would receive from her estate. This was ultimately rejected by the Court and would, in any case, be deemed irrelevant by the Court under the forfeiture rule where the exclusion applies. As a consequence in that case, the wife’s (Allison) father was responsible to administer the estate, and the daughters will receive the some $1 million estate in in entirely upon attaining the age of majority.

How RHC Solicitors Help

We have experienced will and estate lawyers across Queensland. We deal with complex estates and representation in the Supreme Court of Queensland every day and have handled thousands of challenges to a Will or otherwise contesting an estate.

We're affordable lawyers and often offer fixed fee quotes so that you know exactly what is ahead.

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