You may still have a claim even if you have been left out of a person’s will or you have not been provided what you expected or something you were promised.

Here are the ten most common ways people leave their wills open to challenge.

  1. Where the deceased is your de facto partner you may bring a claim under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976.
  2. Where the deceased is a close family member you may be entitled to make a claim under the Family Protection Act 1955 if adequate provision has not been made for your maintenance and support.
  3. Where the deceased has not kept a promise to reward you for services you may have a claim for payment as a “Testamentary Promises” claim.
  4. Where the deceased is a close family member or defacto who has not left a will at all (or the will is invalid) you may have entitlement under the Administration Act.
  5. Where the process of making the will involved some error, the will may be invalid and the estate may be dealt with under different rules.
  6. Where the deceased had an interest in Maori land it may be possible to challenge how that land was dealt with under a will if it is not dealt with in accordance with statutory guidelines.
  7. Where a person has made a will when they were mentally incapable of understanding their decisions that will may be challenged and replaced with an earlier will.
  8. Where a person has made a will in circumstances of undue influence, distress or fraud, that will may be challenged.
  9. Where the deceased created a reasonable expectation that you or another person would gain an interest in asset to which you have contributed you may have a claim that a constructive trust in your favour should be recognised.
  10. Where the deceased has left a valid will but the terms contain a mistake or are open to interpretation, then those terms of the will may be challenged.

It is important to note that time limits will apply for people to do something in these situations.