Brisbane Contested Probate Solicitors - Disputed Contested Will Lawyers - QLD

LAWYER HELPLINE: 1800 455 886

Most people in Australia will leave assets in their estate to be distributed after they die and the ultimate destination of those assets is usually determined either by instructions contained in a valid will or by the operation of law under the intestacy rules which give an order of priority of potential beneficiaries in cases where the deceased did not leave a will. In many cases there are disputes amongst potential beneficiaries in regards to who will inherit the estate often leading to litigation to challenge a disputed will. Our Brisbane contested probate solicitors are estate litigation specialists who deal with all inheritance matters relating to challenging contested wills and disputing probate.

Contesting Will Validity

Before anyone can apply for a grant of probate it must be established that the relevant will is valid, failing which a grant of letters of administration may be necessary if there is no valid earlier will. This will often change the potential beneficiaries and it may well be in the interests of family members to challenge a will that leaves assets to third parties who are not included as potential beneficiaries under the intestacy rules. In addition, in order to obtain a grant of representation, there must be no disputed issues relating to probate, failing which an aggrieved party's solicitors may make application to a court of law for any contentious issues to be resolved, by estate litigation, prior to the issue of a grant of probate. Our Brisbane contested probate solicitors deal with all estate litigation matters relating to challenging disputed wills, including objecting to the issue of a grant of probate, defending applications from an aggrieved party and making applications to a court of law to challenge a will in the case of contentious or disputed probate.

To be valid, a will must generally comply with the following requirements :-

  • the maker must have legal capacity;
  • it must be in writing;
  • it must be signed by the maker;
  • it must be witnessed as per legislation on succession law.

Administrators & Executors Duties

Our Brisbane contested probate solicitors can advise on an inheritance dispute and may take legal action against dishonest or negligent executors or administrators and will advise an aggrieved party about the legal remedies available if an executor or an administrator fails to adequately perform their duties which in general terms are as follows :-

  • the executor is responsible for the entire administration of the deceased estate until final distribution of all of the assets to the beneficiaries.
  • the executor must identify and secure all assets of the deceased as soon as possible. The executor is responsible for all of the assets until final distribution and may need to store and insure valuables including documents, jewellery, ornaments or artworks and may be required to make short term financial investments to ensure that any cash is best dealt with.
  • The executor must identify all assets and liabilities and must discharge all debts including the funeral account from the assets, prior to distribution to the beneficiaries.
  • Lastly the executor must distribute the estate assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the will or if there is no will the executor must distribute the assets in accordance with the intestacy rules which gives a list of priority for potential beneficiaries who may inherit based on family relationships.

Inheritance Dispute

Our Brisbane contested probate solicitors represent clients in all cases involving an inheritance dispute or a challenge to a will and also deal with contentious and disputed probate. It may be that the will is thought to be invalid or that the executor is of an unsuitable character or that sufficient provision has not been made for dependants. Our estate litigation solicitors deal with all types of inheritance disputes and family provision claims.

Family Provision

Family members or dependants who have been left out of a will or inadequately provided for can bring a lawsuit (Family Provision Application) for estate allocation to them. A Family Provision Application can be brought before the District or Supreme Court.

Whether your application will be successful or not depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The size of the estate;
  • Your financial circumstances, including your ability to earn an income;
  • Your health;
  • Any contributions you made to the building up of the deceased’s estate;
  • Claims by any other beneficiaries;
  • Any dis-entitling conduct on your behalf.

Examples of family provision claims include:- children who have been excluded from their parent’s will due to their parent ‘disowning’ them; children from previous marriages who have not been provided for by their parents.

Undue Influence

The problem of undue influence arises when somebody essentially takes advantage of a person's reduced physical or mental state, or dependency and influences them to take action (such as re-writing their will), which they otherwise would not have done.

So for example, a child may threaten or emotionally blackmail a frail and dependent parent into leaving their entire estate to that child, to the exclusion of their siblings, when in fact the parent would have otherwise allocated their estate to all children in equal shares.

If undue influence can be proven, the Will is declared invalid. Direct evidence of undue influence is often difficult to obtain, however the court will consider all relevant circumstantial evidence. The court has the power to re-allocate the estate if there is a finding of undue influence.

Are you concerned that the will-maker was coerced or forced into changing their will? Call our solicitors today to discuss what legal rights you may have, and whether you can take legal action.

Lack of Testamentary Capacity

When a person is making their will, they must be of sound mind, memory and understanding. They must have “testamentary capacity.” This means that they must understand the nature and effect of a will; the extent of their property; and the claims of beneficiaries. If a person does not have testamentary capacity, for example, due to an illness which severely affects their cognition, their Will can be declared invalid.

In cases where the will maker suffered from a medical condition such as a delusional disorder, expert medical evidence may assist in proving that they lacked testamentary capacity at the time they made their will. Evidence may also be obtained from lay witnesses, the Will maker’s general practitioner, and the solicitor who drafted the will.

If you suspect that the deceased lacked the necessary capacity or competence to make a will, you should seek legal advice. Contact our Brisbane solicitors today for free assistance.


Does the testator’s will seem suspicious? Fraud cases typically involve the testator’s will being altered without their knowledge or permission. Sometimes their signature is forged. Expert evidence is often required from a handwriting expert in order to support an allegation of a forgery.

If you can prove fraud, the will may be invalidated. If you think that your entitlements have been affected by a fraudulent will, then you should speak with a will dispute solicitor.

Our legal team is here to help with any questions that you may have regarding Will disputes, contested probate and inheritance claims. Our team does not deal with will drafting or straight probate applications, rather they are experts at handling Will contests, disputes and litigation. So if an issue of this nature is of concern to you, contact our free service.

For free assistance, send an email with as much information as possible, or call our helpline, or email our solicitors offices.

Time Limits

If you wish to challenge a will (or contest probate), speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Our will dispute lawyers have many years’ experience in handling all types of inheritance disputes. They can advise you of the relevant time limits in your case.

In Queensland, you need to notify the Executor of the will, within six months of the death of the testator. Legal action must be commenced within nine months of the death of the testator, unless the court grants an extension.

Don’t delay in seeking legal advice. Delaying may result in you losing your rights completely. If you wish to dispute your inheritance, contact our legal team for free advice.

No Win No Fee Will Dispute Solicitors

Our Brisbane contested probate solicitors will discuss with you in detail the legal costs involved in your matter at the beginning so that there are no misunderstandings. Most matters are handled on a No Win No Fee basis, and can be resolved through negotiation or mediation, without the need to go to court. Where alternative dispute resolution such as mediation fails, a court will determine the outcome following a hearing.

The Supreme Court of South Australia deals with grants of probate and administration together with associated disputes over estates. The Probate Registry is responsible for determining, on application for a grant of representation, what document or documents constitute the last will of the deceased and/or who is entitled to be the personal representative of the deceased.

Probate forms can be obtained online :-

The probate office for South Australia is situated at:-

    Probate Office
    Supreme Court of South Australia
    Registrar's Office
    1 Gouger Street
    South Australia
    SA 5000

All births, marriages and deaths in South Australia are on record at :-

    South Australia Births, Deaths and Marriages
    Registration Office
    Level 2
    Chesser House
    91-97 Grenfell Street
    South Australia
    SA 5000

    Postal address:
    GPO Box 1351
    South Australia
    SA 5001

Estate Lawyers Legal Advice

If you would like to speak to a specialist lawyer about a will dispute or about inheritance litigation, without any further obligation just use the helpline or email our solicitors offices. Our estate lawyers advice is free and you are under no obligation to use our estate litigation services.

Our Brisbane Will Dispute Solicitors can help you challenge an unfair Will. If you are a family member, spouse, ex-spouse, de-facto partner, same-sex partner, child, grandchild, or other person who was financially dependent on the deceased, then you may be able to challenge the deceased’s will. If you have been left out of a will, or believe that the will-maker was coerced into changing their Will, you should also seek legal advice.

Brisbane Will Dispute Solicitors are specialists in Inheritance Disputes and Estate Litigation. Our solicitors act on behalf of those contesting a will, as well as on behalf of executors who need legal representation when a claim is made against the estate.

To receive obligation-free legal advice on how to enforce your rights, just call our free helpline or complete the on-line contact form or email our solicitors offices and a member of our legal team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

HELPLINE: 1800 455 886