Free Consultation

Estate & Will Disputes

Margaret Arthur, who heads our Estate Litigation section, is very experienced in estate dispute matters, including challenging a will (or defending it), claims for inadequate provision in a will, arguments about the mental capacity of the testator when making a will and when the personal representative has failed to perform their duties. We are skilled in running difficult cases and bringing off very impressive results. We also understand that litigation can be stressful and intimidating and we actively discuss the emotional impact of the litigation

Step 1 Let's talk at a free consultation

We offer free initial consultations where we can talk with you about your options and the possible outcome of your matter. We can offer various options for meeting with you including by telephone, video conference (using a variety of platforms) or face to face meetings either at our office or at your home. You decide what works best for you.

Step 2 Let's proceed

The last thing we want is for our clients to be worried about legal costs. That is why at CRH Law we offer a variety of flexible fee arrangements including "No Win, No Fee"* and deferred payment options.

Step 3 Let us prepare your claim

We will explain how we will run your case to get the best possible outcome with minimal stress. Margaret and the rest of our Estate Litigation team have acted in many estate disputes over the years, and with the benefit of our experience and expertise, you will have nothing to worry about.

Step 4 We negotiate your settlement

We are big believers in saving you legal costs where we can and in using a range of strategies including informal negotiation conferences and mediations. We settle most Will disputes quickly and discreetly out of court.

Make an Enquiry

If you would like to make an enquiry about a free consultation, contact us today by completing the form or phoning us.  

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Frequently Asked

What does contesting a will entail?

There are a number of reasons to contest a Will.

When a person makes a Will, it is their right to decide who inherits their assets after they die. But Australia also has laws to protect eligible people who have been left with little or nothing in a Will. Eligible people can bring what is called a ‘Family Provision Claim’.

Wills can also be contested where the person making the Will may not have known what they were doing. If the person who made the Will had dementia, memory difficulties, or delusional thoughts, or was acting under pressure from a third party, there may be good grounds to challenge the Will.

The laws surrounding Will disputes can be very complex. So it’s important to work with someone who is a specialist in Will disputes – and Margaret Arthur is an accredited specialist in Succession law.

If you have been left out of a Will or you feel that you haven’t been left enough, or if you think there may be reasons to question the validity of a Will, speak with us. You may be eligible to contest or challenge the Will.

Contact us today to talk to someone about your matter.

What are the different types of claims on Wills?

There are four main types of claims you can choose from when you want to contest a Will, including:

1.   Family Maintenance

This is the most common type of claim.  It’s where someone close to the person who died believes that they weren’t left enough, so they want a larger part of the estate.

2.   Lack of capacity

If you were named as a beneficiary in a previous version of a Will, but were removed from the last version at a time when the Will-maker lacked capacity, you may be able to challenge the validity of the last Will.

3.   Undue influence

The basis of this kind of claim is that the Will-maker was pressured into making a Will.

You must show that the deceased person was ‘unduly influenced’ by a person (or people) to sign a Will that wasn’t in line with their true wishes.  It is on of the most difficult claims to succeed with.

4.   Breach of trust

If you are a beneficiary of a Will and you believe the executor has failed at their job you can ask the court to remove them.

How to contest a Will

The most important part of contesting a Will is to get started early.

Strict time limits apply when you are making a claim so it’s important that you are well prepared before you make a claim.  Generally, you have between 6 and 12 months (depending on which state you are in) following the date of death to lodge your claim.

If you are challenging the validity of a Will (e.g. for lack of capacity or undue influence), this claim must be brought before probate is granted.

Plus, if your claim is made late, there might end up being no estate to claim against if the executor finishes distributing the estate first.

There are two key areas you need to clarify with your lawyer before you can begin negotiating your settlement:

  • Your eligibility
  • Proof of claim