Law Society Accredited & experienced in over 5,000 Will Disputes.

Recommended by Doyle's Guide to the Best Lawyers in Australia.

International STEP Member Recognised Expert in Will Disputes.

Contesting a Will in NSW

In NSW the court will take into consideration all property owned by the deceased at the time of his or her death and in addition, under certain circumstances, all property owned by the deceased in the three (3) years preceding his or her death. This 'rule' is referred to as 'notional estate" and is applied only in NSW. It often captures property such as superannuation and other trust funds as well as joint tenancy real estate. In NSW you have 12 months from the date of death of the deceased to make a claim for provision out of the deceased estate however an extension of that time is possible under certain circumstances. Nearly all 'family members' are eligible to claim. 

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Contesting a Will in Queensland

In Queensland the court will only take into consideration property owned by the deceased at the time of his or her death, excluding property owned as 'joint tenants', in superannuation and other funds held in trust. A 'dependant' family member may however be entitled to claim a share of superannuation via the Superannuation Trustee or Superannuation Tribunal. You have 9 months from the date of death of the deceased to make a claim however you must notify the executor named in the will within 6 months of death that you intent to make a claim. An extension of that time is possible under certain circumstances. Nearly all 'family members' are eligible to claim. 

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Contesting a Will in Victoria

In Victoria the court will only take into consideration property owned by the deceased at the time of his or her death, excluding property owned as 'joint tenants', in superannuation and other funds held in trust. A 'dependant' family member may however be entitled to claim a share of superannuation via the Superannuation Trustee or Superannuation Tribunal. You have 6 months from the grant of probate to the executor named in the will to make a claim.  An extension of that time is possible under certain circumstances. You or your solicitor can search the Supreme Court Registry to see when probate has been granted. Nearly all 'dependant family members' are eligible to claim. 

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Defending a Will 

The 'Rules' are basically the same for each of NSW, Victoria and Queensland. Defending a contested will is also known as defending a family provision or family maintenance claim and is quite different from defending a challenge to the validity of a will. Defending a will contest is all about the age, health and financial position of 'family members' and whether adequate financial provision has been made for those claimants, especially if they had been dependant on the deceased. Defending a challenge to the validity of the will is all about defending the validity of the will itself on legal grounds such as alleged fraud or lack of mental capacity.  

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Every Will Contest Case is Different.

Every case really is different and that is why this law can be so complicated. There are traps and pitfalls everywhere for the inexperienced. Contesting a will firstly involves an agreement between all concerned that the will is valid. Only then can everyone concerned identify whether the will is fair. People frequently make many wills before their death so it is important to be looking at the last valid will and not be sidetracked by either earlier wills or invalid wills. 

How to Select a Will Contest Lawyer 

When selecting your will contest lawyer be sure to consider the benefit of having the most experienced solicitor and barrister you can to represent you because experience really does count. It means less legal costs to you and more provision out of the estate.  

Let me explain.

Experienced lawyers understand what is important and what is not, in these cases. So many times we see our opposition lawyer get it all wrong. As a result we do much better for our clients when his or her clients suffer. The experience in preparing a proper case for mediation or preparing a proper case for a hearing is of the utmost importance. It not only helps in negotiating a good settlement at mediation but also for getting it right before a judge and in both situations means a better result for you. 

However, all lawyers are not as experienced as they would have you believe... in this kind of work. Contesting a Will is not like personal injury litigation or any other type of litigation. Your solicitor and barrister needs to be experienced and qualified  in deceased estates, so you need to look for their qualifications and their case numbers. To top it off we frequently see inexperienced lawyers in deceased estates charge their clients much more money, either for work that is not required or because they are learning as they go. 

If you select our firm for a will contest or will defence, you can rely on our decades of experience and the promise that your case will receive the individualised attention it deserves. 

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. Membership is considered a mark of excellence recognised internationally.
  • 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.
doyles 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

Testimonials

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.

Locations

Sydney

Eric Butler, SolicitorEric Butler, Will Dispute Solicitor in NSW, Victoria & Queensland Level 13, 111 Elizabeth Street ,
Sydney NSW 2000
.

i 1800 960 156

Melbourne

Eric Butler, SolicitorEric Butler, Will Dispute Solicitor in NSW, Victoria & Queensland Level 11, 456 Lonsdale Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000
.

i 1800 960 156

Brisbane

Eric Butler, SolicitorEric Butler, Will Dispute Solicitor in NSW, Victoria & Queensland Level 10, 95 North Quay,
Brisbane Brisbane QLD 4000
.

i 1800 960 156

Newcastle

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

i 1800 960 156