Wills: What you need to know
Will disputes are increasingly common, especially given the changing and complex nature of Australian families. But it doesn't need to be a battle—it’s about working with all involved to bring about an acceptable outcome.
When someone makes a Will, they have the right to decide who inherits their assets after they die. But there are also laws to protect people who do not receive adequate provision from a Will. The law surrounding Will disputes is complex, and can differ significantly from state to state, so it’s important to retain a Will dispute lawyer with local experience.
We have offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and throughout Australia. If you think you have been unfairly provided for and want to contest or challenge a Will, speak to Maurice Blackburn today. We fight for fair.
The law surrounding Will disputes is complex, and can differ significantly from state to state—so it’s important to retain a wills lawyer with local experience. Maurice Blackburn is a national firm with a long and successful history of providing advice in Will disputes, so whether you're thinking of contesting a Will, or if you're the executor or beneficiary of a Will that's being challenged, Maurice Blackburn’s highly experienced Will disputes lawyers can assist you.
We offer a range of services associated with Will disputes. Contact us today to speak to an expert and find out how we can help you.
If you believe your share of a Will is inadequate, or if you've been left out all together, then you may be able to challenge the Will to get your fair share. We can advise you on the process of bringing a challenge, including whether you're eligible to do so, and what time limits will apply to your claim.
If you think a Will was prepared under suspicious circumstances, or at a time when the Will-maker did not understand what they were doing, then our Will disputes lawyers can help you get that Will deemed invalid. However, in such circumstances, a challenge to a Will must be brought before probate of the Will has been granted.
Our lawyers are skilled negotiators. That's why 98% of Maurice Blackburn's Will dispute cases are settled without the need to go to court.
We have an unbeatable record in resolving Will disputes, and almost all of our cases are successfully settled without ever needing to go to court. Time limits do apply, so if you intend to fight a Will, you should seek prompt legal advice to ensure that your entitlements are protected.
Probate and estate administration
'Probate' refers to an order made by the court which confirms that:
- the Will is valid
- the executor appointed by the Will has the authority to collect and deal with the assets of the estate.
A Grant of Probate, also known as a Grant of Representation, is the first step in the process of proving a Will and administering the estate of a deceased person. A Grant of Probate is a legal document that enables an administrator or executor of a Will to finalise a deceased person’s financial and legal affairs.
When there is no Will, a Grant of Letters of Administration needs to be applied for to enable a person (usually the person entitled to the estate on intestacy) to be appointed as the Administrator of the estate.
Find out more about probate and estate administration.
If you need assistance applying for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration, or with any other estate administration matter, we can help.
Wills, estates and trusts are complex areas of the law. Estate planning, including the writing of Wills, is an area of law that is far more complex than it first appears—even for people who have relatively modest assets. Assets that are not held personally—for example, funds held in trusts, superannuation accounts and joint holdings—need to be dealt with skilfully to ensure they are distributed the way their owner intends. In these circumstances it is wise to consult a lawyer with estate planning expertise.
Legal costs of contesting a Will
Maurice Blackburn will get the best result for you on a 'no win, no fee'* basis, which means that you don't pay our legal fees if we don't win your case. If you are considering attempting to challenge a Will, or are defending a Will, contact us today to find out how we can help.
All you need to know about Will disputes
Whether you are thinking of challenging or contesting a Will, or if you are the executor or beneficiary of a Will that is being challenged, our Will disputes lawyers can assist you.
Our Wills and estates services
- Will disputes lawyers
- Contesting a Will
- Power of Attorney dispute lawyers
- Defending a Will
- Applying for a court ordered Will
- Overturning a Will