Will Dispute Lawyers in Sydney
Michael Conley Lawyers are specialist will dispute lawyers Sydney, supporting our clients contesting a will with a range of family-focused legal services. Our team has decades of experience in estate law matters related to contesting wills and can assist you and your family to the most beneficial resolution. From a simple challenge to more complex dispute cases, our experienced law team will guide you throughout the process, including tasks like filing the correct forms and resolving division of assets, whether those are located in Australia or overseas. Together we’ll navigate this incredibly difficult time towards a satisfactory resolution to secure the future of your family.
The Benefits of
Working with Will Dispute Lawyers
Successfully challenging a will or proceeding with legal claims against an estate requires both expert knowledge and extensive experience in contesting a will and dispute resolution.
There are numerous benefits to working with experienced will dispute lawyers, but the primary benefit is the possibility of resolving will disputes through mediation and achieving the best outcome is much higher. It can also prevent or reduce the financial costs of resolving disputes.
As leading Sydney will dispute lawyers, we are experienced in managing the dispute process and helping your family navigate this extremely difficult time. The will and wishes of lost loved ones needs to be handled with sensitivity and with a focus on the needs of your family moving forward.
We take a collaborative approach, working with our clients to understand their needs within the often complex disputes that arise with wills and estates. Our objective is focused on the big picture: to secure the best possible outcome for your family, especially for your children, by providing quality legal services.
as Will Dispute Lawyers
Michael Conley Lawyers support our clients with a diverse team of legal experts, who prioritise the needs of your family for the best possible outcome, including barristers, partners, senior associates, paralegals, administrative staff, forensic accountants, counsellors, trained mediators and arbitrators.
Our diverse team works together in a holistic approach to every case. We strive to achieve a sensible and cost-efficient resolution that respects the wishes of your loved one and meets the needs of your family through mediation, arbitration and negotiation. Our goal is to attempt to resolve issues before heading to court, minimising the financial and emotional cost of these often difficult situations.
We understand how important communication and a prompt response is during stressful times, which is why our team prioritises communication to ensure you know what is involved at each stage of the process. You are able to start proceedings with confidence and always know what’s happening with your case. We always reply to your calls and emails, and we’ll never ask you to call back later.
Want to know more about engaging a will dispute lawyer?
Will Dispute FAQs
Anyone eligible to make a family provision claim is within their legal rights to contest a will under the Family Provision Act. According to the Succession Act 2006 (NSW), Chapter 3 (Family Provision), eligible persons who can contest a will and apply to the Court for a family provision order is:
(a) a person who was the spouse of the deceased person at the time of the deceased’s death,
(b) a person with whom the deceased person was living in a de facto relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death,
(c) a child of the deceased person,
(d) a former spouse of the deceased person,
(e) a person—
(i) who was, at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased person, and
(ii) who is a grandchild of the deceased person or was, at that particular time or at any other time, a member of the household of which the deceased person was a member,
(f) a person with whom the deceased person was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death.
To successfully challenge a will you may need to provide evidence relating to the conditions for family provision claims. In consultation with a will dispute lawyer, your legal team will advise you on the best evidence for a successful outcome.
First, you will need to obtain a copy of the will, details of assets and overall worth of the deceased’s estate, and information as to whether probate has been granted or not. The court will then examine the details of the will and its execution, whether or not there is a valid will (for example, is there evidence of tampering or undue influence), the relationship between the claimant and the deceased, if the claimant was unfairly treated in the will, if the deceased had a ‘moral duty of care’ for the claimant, if the claimant was dependent in any capacity on the deceased, and the effects of any potential changes to other beneficiaries of the will.
The entire process of resolving will disputes is extremely complex, however, your experienced will dispute lawyers will help you navigate the process to achieve the best possible outcome for your current and future needs.
How the legal costs of contesting a will are paid depend on different factors, but primarily it will depend on the outcome. For example, if the will dispute is settled during mediation and does not go to Court, you will receive an agreed-upon amount from the estate and you will be required to pay your legal costs out of this amount.
If your case progresses to Court and you are successful in contesting the will, the court will likely order the estate must pay party/party costs or ‘ordered’ costs. In this circumstance, the amount will usually cover approximately 70% of your legal costs, but you will need to pay the remainder out of your share of the estate.
The short answer is you can’t stop a will being contested. Legally in Australia, any person who is eligible to contest your will can make a claim against the estate. They will of course need to provide evidence that they have not been adequately provided for in the will of the deceased, but there is no real way to prevent them from contesting the will in the first place.
If you are concerned about the possibility of your will being contested after your death, speak to experienced wills and estate lawyers on potential options for protecting your estate.