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Eric Butler Solicitor

Team Eric and Joanne Butler
Will Contest Specialists.

Free Case Assessment

1800 960 156


Representing Claimants and Defendants in NSW, Queensland and Victoria

Challenging a Will

When an person who is either named in the will, named in a previous will or who would benefit if there was no will is said to have "standing" to challenge the validity of a will. No other person is entitled to do so. A challenge could be based upon evidence of fraud, forgery, undue influence, the will makers lack of mental capacity or lack of the knowledge and approval of the terms of the will. The challenger can protest a Grant of Probate (the administration of the estate) until the will is proved in court to be valid. The word “Probate” means proof of the will and lawyers refer to these proceedings as “Probate Proceedings”. 

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Contesting a Will

When all interested persons who are "eligible" agree the Will is Valid but one or more allege the will in unfair in that one or more family member were left inadequate provision in the terms of the Will. These cases are referred to by lawyers as “Family Provision Claims”. These cases are about the responsibility of a deceased person to adequately provide for family members in financial need. There are many factors involved in these cases and whilst family history is important it is not as important as the details of each family members health and financial position. Only close family members are "eligible" to claim.

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Defending a Will

Defending a contested will (family provision claim) and defending a challenged will are a completely different in purpose and process. Defending a contest is all about the age , health and financial position of family members and whether or not adequate financial provision has been made for financially dependant family members. Defending a challenge is all about upholding the validity of the will on legal grounds and evidence of financial details of family members is not relevant. Defending a will dispute is different again. Each case will be completely different.

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Will Disputes

Beneficiaries named in the will and other family members may agree that the will is no case for a will challenge of family provision claim  but that there is uncertainty about some of the terms in the will or some errors that cannot be resolved without the need for a judge (because only a judge can change the terms of a will). Other forms of will disputes include disagreements over the administration of the estate, forfeiture rules, Executor negligence or fraud or conflict of interest and more. Lawyers refer to these proceedings as  “Administration Proceedings”. 

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Be careful...

The law of wills and estates, also known as succession law, is extremely varied and often very complex. The variations and complexities are compounded by the slightly but important variations of each Australian State. Be careful when attempting to learn the law from FAQ's on websites or any articles on websites (including this one) because the information contained on this site and most other sites is general in nature and will almost certainly not apply to you. Why would I say that? Well the truth of the matter is very simple, it's because every single case is different. You will probably have no idea of why your case is different, but I guarantee it is different. 

The complexity in the law and in the cases arise because nothing in wills and estates is just black or white. There is nearly always some exception to a rule. When doing you research on various websites you may think you have found the answer to your particular circumstance but in fact you could be way off the track.

The worst case scenario for you is that some sites or videos you visit may be wrong either because the information is simply incorrect or out of date. The other possibility is the site or video may not have the correct information relevant to your case and will not reflect the correct result for your case. In summary, I strongly suggest you do not rely solely on what you hear on web site video or what you read on web sites . I urge you to check with your preferred solicitor before relying too heavily upon what you're 'learnt' on web sites. 

If you are defending a claim please remember you have the right to choose your own solicitor. The fact that the will of the deceased person is held by the solicitor who prepared the will does not mean you are bound to instruct that same solicitor to act for you as "Defendant" in any proceedings or to use that same solicitor for your application for "Probate". Upon the death of the will maker you become the new client and you may choose the solicitor you wish to represent you.

And... when you call your preferred legal firm be sure to ask for the head solicitor in wills and estates from the beginning to save yourself time and also to ensure you are getting answers from the best available person in that firm. Your case in important to you so why not ask for the best solicitor in the firm. In fact, why not ask for their Accredited Specialist in Wills & Estates. 

Eric Butler

NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Wills & Estates Law.


Qualifications & Memberships:

  • Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • Listed in Doyle’s Guide to the best lawyers in Australia as one of Sydney’s recommended lawyers in Wills and Estates Litigation. 
  • New South Wales Law Society Accredited Specialist in Wills & Estate Law.
  • Member of the International Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
  • Awarded in 2015 (and nominated in 2011 and 2013) for the Law And Justice Foundation Award for Pro Bono work by the Law Society President
  • Associate of the Australian Legal Practice Management Association.
  • Member of the Law Society New South Wales
  • Member of the Law Society Queensland
  • Member of the Law Institute Victoria
ALPMA Law Society of NSW STEP Law Society of New South Wales Queensland Law Society Law Institute Victoria

We are always available for a free no obligation discussion
1800 960 156


Exceptional skills of compassion and understanding.

Kindness and listening skills.

Simple but good advice.

Professional and people are lucky to call you “mate”.

I will always remember and hold you in great esteem.

A wonderful negotiator.

A good bloke with a good heart.

Thank you for always keeping to your word.

Help was wonderful and restored my faith in people.

I consider myself blessed I was able to receive your help.

I have been repeatedly impressed with your professionalism.

Consideration and efficiency.

Grateful for your honesty.

Thank you for your free professional advice.

Explained the facts concisely without any complications.

Would highly recommend you to anyone.

Sure to recommend you to my friends and colleagues.

Glad I had you on my side at mediation.

Will thoroughly recommend you to anyone.

Very sensible but protective at mediation.

So impressed with your return phone calls to me.

So impressed by you trying to protect me.

Advice invaluable and straightforward.

Professional but at the same time caring.

Always took the time to have an in-depth discussion.

Would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone.

Have no hesitation in highly recommending you to anyone.

Explained legal costs very clearly.

Genuine highly skilled Lawyer.

No complicated legal jargon.

You were right from the beginning Eric.

Available day, night and weekends.

No words to express my thanks and deep gratitude.

Compassion and long and hard devoted hours.

Immediate response to my phone calls and emails.

Personal and professional manner.

Explained things in a language that I could understand.

Free help and would recommend you to anybody.

Discreet manner handling a difficult situation.

Free initial advice delivered the same day as my enquiry.

Plain English answers and no complicated legal jargon.

Setting out easy to read information on legal fee costs.

Regular updates.

I have full faith in your integrity.

Answered my questions quickly and thoroughly.

Very grateful I had someone like you representing me.

Explained things so clearly.

Patience and understanding.

The first thing that struck me was how approachable you are.

Advice in plain English and knowledgeable.

Professional, genuine and honest.

Mum still talks about how wonderful you were.

Outstanding professionalism.

Availability was outstanding.

Perseverance and especially your patience.

I appreciate your integrity.

Never failed to be transparent and brutally honest.

Kept to your word on legal costs.

Answered to phone every time I called.

Explained it to me so clearly.



Eric Butler, SolicitorEric Butler, Will Dispute Solicitor in NSW, Victoria & Queensland Level 57, MLC Centre,
19-29 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000


Eric Butler, SolicitorEric Butler, Will Dispute Solicitor in NSW, Victoria & Queensland Level 21, 570 Bourke Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000


Eric Butler, SolicitorEric Butler, Will Dispute Solicitor in NSW, Victoria & Queensland Level 27, Santos Place,
32 Turbot Street
Brisbane QLD 4000


Eric Butler, SolicitorEric Butler, Will Dispute Solicitor in NSW, Victoria & Queensland Level 1, 45 Hunter Street,
Newcastle NSW 2300