Will Dispute

Lawyers Sydney


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.

Our Approach

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?

Contact our estate law team to discuss your needs and arrange a meeting with one of our accredited specialists.

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.

Most wills and estates lawyers have an hourly rate, depending on their experience rates can range between $100 to $450 per hour. The end cost of resolving will disputes can vary significantly from case-to-case and is difficult to estimate, as it depends on the amiability of the parties involved, the complexities of your family dynamics and various assets, which can be further complicated by international laws if any assets are located internationally. However, the average cost of will disputes in NSW, if it is settled outside of court, can range from $5,000 to $10,000. In court, the cost can range up to $100,000. The overall cost of working with a will dispute lawyer to resolve a family provision claim is dependent on the individual case and the needs of the family you’re working with. To discuss your legal needs with leading wills and estates law specialists, book a consultation today.
When you contest a will, your will dispute lawyers will first try to settle outside of Court and this happens in the majority of cases. Using our experience in mediation and negotiation, your will dispute lawyers will help you through every stage to navigate the unique needs of your case to secure adequate provision – each case is different and may require different kinds of actions. However, if your will dispute requires you to commence Court proceedings, the Court will then set directions outlining the steps that need to be adhered to before the Court will set the matter down for a Trial. Again, if you listen to the legal advice of your team, they will be able to assist you in navigating all the Court’s directions to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible.

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.

If you are planning to challenge a will in NSW, you must begin proceedings to seek a family provision order within 12 months from the date of death of the will-maker.
The short answer is yes, you can contest a will after probate has been granted. In New South Wales, probate is required before will disputes are presented to the court.

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 will should be read and estate administration started within 12 months of the date of death. The entire process, from the time the executor of the will starts to administer an estate to the finalising of an estate, takes between 9-12 months on average.

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.