How Should I Go About Making a Claim on an Inheritance

For you to claim an inheritance, you will have to file with the court a legal document which will act as notification to the court and the custodian of the estate, that you may be legally entitled to a part of or even all of the inheritance.

This document is commonly referred to as a “demand letter’ and must hold:

  • Your name or the name of whomever is submitting the demand
  • A statement describing the connection to the estate
  • A land mailing address
  • Telephone contact number(s)
  • And the full name of the person who has departed

After filing the demand for notice, it will then obligate the court clerk and the custodian of the estate to provide copies of all documents which have been filed with the court to you or the person filing the demand.


Should you wish to make a claim on an inheritance, you must send an endorsed copy of your demand for notice to the custodian of the estate.

  • The word “endorsed” in this kind of case means that the court has now placed an official stamp on your request for notice.
  • This stamp will display the date you filed the document with the court, alongside the signature of the court clerk

The custodian of an estate can be a personal representative or a public trustee in NSW. The person who is then acting as the custodian is then legally bound to gather the property of the departed person and then carry out the distribution of such property compatible to a valid will or, if there is no valid will, compatible to the law.

Matters of a Valid Will or Intestate

You are naturally able to claim any type of inheritance should you be entitled to inherit through a valid legal will. However, if there happens to be no valid will, then you will have to then go about claiming one through a jurisdiction’s intestate law.

  • The term “intestate” means that someone has died without leaving a valid will, and Australian states have statutes which establish intestate succession of all property.
  • This essentially means that, if somebody has passed away without a valid will, the law will then go on to control exactly who has the legal right to inherit.

Making Sure, it’s Error Free

Anybody claiming an inheritance will have to behave with a degree of diligence to protect their rights. Any failure to claim an inheritance within a certain time limit may result in losing out, because the law is prone to establish specific deadlines for someone to declare their rights.

It would be in your best interests to consult with a probate lawyer who fully understands the laws for claim your inheritance. For example, if a will excludes you from inheriting, the will may not be deemed valid and the probate lawyer can successfully challenge the legitimacy of the will.

Get peace of mind with a legal professional.

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