Contesting A Will


The Will dispute process can be lengthy and confusing to navigate. You’re not alone. Our expert estate lawyers at MDV Family Lawyers will guide you through the process of contesting a Will. Our will dispute lawyers will break the process down into simple steps, eliminating the complexity.

It is best to seek legal advice to assess whether you have the right to challenge the validity of a Will. Provided that your claim is deemed founded, the legal costs may be paid out of the estate.

The team at MDV Family Lawyers will allow you to find out what you’re eligible for and steer the negotiation process.

Who can contest a Will

A Will can be challenged by eligible persons with relationships with the deceased:

  • Children of the deceased
  • Adopted children
  • Stepchildren (if they are able to prove they were dependent on the deceased)
  • Grandchildren (they must prove that they were dependent on the deceased)
  • Other individuals who were dependent on the deceased and who were members of the same household
  • A spouse (either someone married to the deceased at the time of death, or a de facto partner)
  • Former spouses
  • A person with whom the deceased was living in a close personal relationship

Grounds for contesting a Will

Some of the grounds for contesting a will includes the following:

  • On the basis of provision (contesting provisions that has, or has not, been made for certain individuals or family members)
  • Duress or undue influence (when a party unfairly influences another to enter into a will)
  • Lack of testamentary capacity (if the person who made it lacked testamentary capacity at the time)
  • The Will has failed to comply with the formal legal requirements

What can be contested

The Will can be challenged in whole, or in part.

Time limit on contesting a Will

In NSW, a Will may only be contested or challenged within 12 months of the date of death. The Court may allow a claim to commence outside this time limit, although special reasons need to be established.

Challenging a will after probate is granted

It’s easier to challenge a Will before a grant of probate, however, it is possible to still have it challenged after the probate has been granted.

The court will require an explanation as to why the challenge was not made at an earlier date. The challenge will also need to have valid grounds recognised by law.

Ready to make an appointment?

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, call 02 4421 7455, email and book online below.

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