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His defacto partner would have had a claim to half his estate even with the will but certainly the will should have been probated and used as the basis for distributing his estate, even if she had a claim. It may be difficult to undo this know after the estate has been distributed however although that would be possible, but it depends on the value of the estate and what you want to achieve.
In New Zealand the sex of the partners doesn't matter but I am not sure of the Australian law on this. There are also time limits on claiming against estates under New Zealand law, which are at 12 months after administration on the estate so time is an issue. The only prospect is if you think there was fraud on the part of his partner in overlooking the will deliberately
I will transfer to an Australian lawyer because the ability to claim and use the will, will have to be decided there if the property was all there.
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Can you explain to me, did the partner allege there was no will and did he apply for letters of administration?