Can Katy contest 20-year-old will?

Twenty years ago, Katy’s parents left the family home to just one of her siblings. Estate planning lawyer Rod Cunich explains whether she can contest the will.


Q. Katy:
More than 20 years ago, my parents left the family home – the only asset – to one child. There were other siblings and grandchildren but the will was not contested at the time. When that beneficiary passes, it is assumed the property will pass on to the child of that beneficiary. On passing, can the will of the original beneficiary be contested in relation to the original family home so that the children of all the siblings can benefit?


A: I’m afraid that it is extremely unlikely. Generally speaking, too much time has passed and the claim is likely to be statute barred. That said, I’d recommend you speak to a specialist litigation lawyer as the circumstances surrounding the gift to the current owner may be tainted with undue influence, duress or other conduct that may taint the current owner’s ownership and extend the normal time limitations. I’d move fast, however, because any glimmer of hope (and it is a small glimmer) will likely die along with the current owner.


Rod Cunich is a lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience in estate planning. If you have a question for Rod, email it to

Related articles:
How to uncover copy of father’s will
Do I help Mum rewrite her will?
Power of attorney protocols

Disclaimer: This information has been provided by Rod Cunich and should be considered general in nature. Seek legal advice before acting on this information.

Written by Janelle Ward

Energetic and skilled editor and writer with expert knowledge of retirement, retirement income, superannuation and retirement planning.

Leave a Reply

Your nose can sniff out bad health

‘I fear my daughter is being abused’