Sydney Contested Probate Solicitors - NSW Will Disputes

LAWYER HELPLINE: 1800 455 886

Most Australian residents will leave assets behind after their death. How those assets are distributed depends on whether or not the deceased has left a will. Anyone who wants to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes should leave a will failing which the intestacy rules will determine who gets what based on family relationship priority. Our Sydney contested probate solicitors deal with challenging wills and disputed probate and we also act on behalf of dependants who seek to contest a will on the basis that there is inadequate provision.

Our Sydney contested probate solicitors are specialists at handling will disputes, contested probate applications, inheritance claims and estate litigation. If you have been left out of a Will, or haven’t been left your fair share of inheritance, speak with our legal team today for obligation-free legal advice.

If you need expert advice on how to challenge a Will or how to resolve a dispute regarding executor’s duties, call us today. We offer free telephone advice, and should you wish to pursue a claim, you may be eligible for No Win No Fee legal representation. Don’t delay in seeking legal advice, as time limits apply when taking legal action.

Valid Will

The first question that our Sydney contested probate solicitors ask is whether or not the relevant will is valid failing which an earlier will may take precedence or the intestacy rules may apply. For a will to be valid it must comply with the following requirements:-

  • the person making the will must have mental capacity;
  • the will must be in writing;
  • the will must be signed by the maker;
  • the will needs to be witnessed in accordance with legislative requirements.

Grant of Probate

A grant of probate is a document issued by the court giving the executor who has been named in the will the right to deal with the assets of the deceased. In the event that no executor is named in a will or in the event that there is no will, a grant of letters of administration must be obtained, usually by a person who has a financial interest in the matter to give authority to deal with the assets.

Intestacy Rules

In cases where there is no will the intestacy rules apply and the assets are apportioned in accordance with the intestacy rules priorities which depend on family relationships. A dependent may however submit application which may disrupt the strict operation of the intestacy rules. If you have any queries on these matters our Sydney contested probate solicitors will be pleased to explain all testamentary matters in detail and in plain English without solicitors jargon. Contact one of our solicitors for advice without further obligation.

Executors Duties

An executors duties may be onerous especially in the case of complicated or high value estates. The executor is personally liable and must discharge duties with a high level of skill. Any shortfall in value is a liability that beneficiaries may claim personally from an executor. The executor is required to asses and value the entire estate, pay off the deceased’s liabilities and thereafter distribute the assets in accordance with the terms of the will or in the case of an administrator who has been granted letters of administration in accordance with the intestacy rules. Our Sydney testamentary solicitors accept instructions relating to litigated probate and wills matters from potential executors, administrators or beneficiaries and our solicitors will deal with all contested matters on their behalf from start to finish.

Challenging a Will

There are times when potential beneficiaries want to challenge a will and contest probate. This may happen if a will is improperly executed and a potential beneficiary of an earlier will or someone who may benefit under the intestacy rules takes issue with the will. In addition a dependent is entitled to petition the court for adequate financial provision which may lead to a contested probate case in a court of law. Our disputed probate solicitors are specialist in challenging wills and contesting probate in addition to defending such challenges on behalf of executors. If you have taken issue with a will or if you are an executor or administrator who is being challenged or if you are a dependent seeking adequate provision we can assist you.

Challenging a Will

Our Sydney contested probate solicitors have handled many cases involving family members or dependants left out of a Will, or left an inheritance which the dependent feels is unfair. Quite often, it is possible for a dependent to take legal action.

Many people believe that once a Will is written, that the content is set in stone. However, the law recognises that in special situations, a Will can be challenged, and a Court can effectively re-write a Will. Potential claimants include: children of the deceased; spouse; ex-spouse; de facto; same-sex partner; step-children; adopted children; grandchildren; people who were wholly or partly dependent on the deceased.

To determine whether a “proper” share of the estate has been left to a beneficiary, the Court will look at:

  1. The relationship between the beneficiary and the deceased;
  2. The total value of the estate;
  3. The beneficiary’s financial circumstances;
  4. The beneficiary’s state of health;
  5. Whether there are people dependent on the beneficiary and their needs;
  6. The other beneficiaries named in the Will;
  7. Any special contribution that the beneficiary made towards the deceased person's assets.

If you wish to challenge a Will, you should speak with a solicitor as soon as possible because time limits apply. Also, once the assets of an estate have been distributed, it becomes difficult and often impossible to do anything about it. Call our free helpline to speak with a member of our legal team today. Alternatively, complete the contact form or send an email with as much relevant information as possible.

Our Sydney Will Dispute legal advice and information service is completely free to use. Our service provides advice in relation to Will disputes and estate litigation. Please note that we do not draft Wills nor do we handle straight probate applications. Rather, our service specialises in handling

Will disputes, Will challenges and contentious matters. If you need advice on how to apply for probate, you should instead contact the Probate office in your State.

Capacity to Make a Will

A Will may be challenged on the grounds that the testator lacked the necessary mental capacity to make a Will. The testator needs to understand what it means to make a Will; they need to understand the extent of their property, how it is owned, and how it is being distributed. Being elderly and with some mental incapacity isn’t sufficient grounds alone to be able to challenge a Will.

Our service receives many calls from people who have been left out of a family member’s Will, or have been left an “unfair” share of inheritance, and who believe that the Will maker was suffering from a severe mental illness, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease at the time they made the Will. Each case turns on its own facts and medical evidence is often necessary to show that such illness was severe enough to have adversely affected the testator’s capacity.

If you would like advice on how to challenge a Will on the basis of a lack of testamentary capacity, call our free helpline today.


Cases of fraud often arise in relation to home-made Wills that have not been executed correctly or signatures have been forged. Without an independent party such as a solicitor to prove the validity of the Will, it usually comes down to one person's word against another's. Fraud can be difficult to prove, however if proven, a Court can declare the Will invalid.

Our service provides free advice in relation to challenging fraudulent Wills. Contact us today to find out how our Sydney Will Challenge Lawyers can help you.

Undue Influence

Sometimes duress is exerted on a person to make their Will in a certain way. Duress can come in the form of physical abuse, psychological abuse, or in the form of a threat. Most often the person exerting the undue influence is a family member; however, it can also be somebody such as a carer or friend.

A Will can be declared invalid if it was made under duress or undue influence.

Executors’ Duties

The executor is the person/s named in the Will, who is responsible for looking after or “administering” the estate. The role of the executor or administrator comes with many responsibilities. Executors must act in good faith. Failure to do so may result in legal action against the executor.

Situations where an executor may be sued include:-

  • Executor misappropriates assets from the estate. For example, they fraudulently take money from the estate for their own personal use.
  • Maladministration of the estate. Examples- the executor fails to discharge debts. The executor sells assets under value.
  • Breach of trust. For example, the executor fails to observe provisions or directions in the Will.

If you have concerns over how the estate is being administered by the executor/s, seek legal advice as soon as possible. You may be able to take legal action where an executor or administrator fails in their duty to protect the interests of the beneficiaries. An executor can be personally liable for negligent actions, and may be ordered to pay compensation from their own assets.

Our Sydney Will Dispute Solicitors have handled many matters on behalf of beneficiaries as well as matters on behalf of executors being sued. Free legal advice and assistance is available by calling our legal helpline or by completing the online contact form.

No Win No Fee Solicitors

If you require legal representation in relation to any matter involving a Will Dispute or Inheritance Claim, call our free service today. No Win No Fee legal representation is available in most cases. Our specialist legal team will explain to you the basis of such an agreement, and will ensure that your matter is handled in a professional and timely manner. Speak with our Sydney Will Dispute legal team by calling our 24/7 helpline or by completing the on-line contact form.

Following the death of an individual the Executor named in the will takes up a provisional role which is confirmed by the issue of a Grant of Probate. Application for a Grant of Probate is made to the Probate Division of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Probate forms can be obtained online from :-

The probate office for New South Wales is situated at:-

    Sydney Supreme Court Probate Registry
    Levels 4 and 5
    Law Courts Building
    184 Phillip Street
    New South Wales

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

    New South Wales Registry of Births Marriages & Deaths
    35 Regent Street
    New South Wales

HELPLINE: 1800 455 886