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Contesting a Will in Australia

Legal Helpline: ☎ 1800 529 835


While the law recognised a person’s right to make a will leaving their property to whom they wish, it does allow somebody to dispute a will where there are good reasons. The most common circumstances in which a wills dispute arises are:

  • Where a person who ought to have been provided for has been left out of the will;
  • Where the intentions of the person who made the will are unclear;
  • Where the person making the will did not have the mental capacity to understand what he/she was doing;
  • The will was created through undue influence or there is fraud;
  • Where the will is grossly unfair; or
  • Where there are dependants who are partially or fully dependant on the deceased who have been excluded.

You can also contest a will where the person who died left no will. In these circumstances a person is said to be "intestate".

A will that has been succesfully challenged will result in varying of its provisions or redistribution of the estate so that you receive a fairer share of inheritance. To find out if you are eligible to challenge a will, contact our legal team today for obligation-free legal advice.

Who can challenge a Will?

Depending on the relevant jurisdiction, persons who may be eligible to challenge a will include:

  • spouses, defactos and same sex partners
  • former spouses
  • children (including step children, adopted children)
  • grandchildren
  • siblings
  • parents
  • persons in a close personal or domestic relationship with the deceased

Time limits to contest a Will

The time limits to contest a will vary from State to State. In some jurisdictions, time starts to run from the date of death whilst in other jurisdictions it runs from the date of grant of probate.

It is important to seek legal advice quickly if you are considering contesting a will. You should contact our legal service to find out the time limit applicable in your case.

How much does it cost to dispute a will?

The will disputes solicitors whom we refer to act on a No Win No Fee bases for their professional fees. This is subject to terms and conditions as discussed with each individual. Out of pocket expenses may be payable by the client and this will also be discussed with each individual.

Does contesting a will mean I have to go to Court?

Wills dispute matters are resolved through a settlement agreement wherever possible. This avoids taking the matter to court and has the following advantages:

  • reducing legal costs;
  • bringing the matter to an early resolution; and
  • preserving family relations by avoiding the stress associated with legal proceedings.

However, to ensure that a fair result is achieved, it may be necessary for a will dispute to proceed to court.




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