The process of contesting a will in NSW

The passing of a loved one or family member is often a more than difficult time for everyone involved. It can become even more stressful when a will is read and not everyone agrees with how the deceased’s estate is allocated.

When this happens, some may choose to contest the will, especially if they feel that they have been left out or unfairly treated.

When this happens, you may want to know more about the process of contesting a will in NSW is.

Take a look at our breakdown of the process.

Why Would Someone Contest A Will?

There are many reasons why someone might choose to contest or challenge a will in NSW.

These can include:

  • They feel that they were not fairly provided for in the deceased’s will
  • They have been left out completely but believe they should be included
  • They feel that the deceased was unduly influenced in the making of the will
  • They argue that the deceased lacked the mental capacity to make the will.
  • They believe that the will was forged
  • They have concerns that there was fraud involved
Last Will And Testament

How Long Do You Have To Contest A Will In NSW?

If you have decided to contest a will, you have 12 months from the testator’s date of death to officially challenge the will. A late application will only be allowed in special circumstances if a court deems there was sufficient cause for the delay.

How Much Does It Cost To Contest A Will In NSW?

If you are considering contesting or challenging a will, you may be wondering what legal fees are associated.

The cost of contesting a will depends upon several factors. If you can keep the matter out of the courts, the average cost for contesting a will is approximately $5,000 to $10,000.

If the matter ends up going through the court system, however, the average cost to contest a will is going to average anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000.

What Is The Process Of Contesting The Will In NSW?

To contest a will in NSW you will need to begin proceedings with the Supreme Court of NSW. If you are challenging the validity of the will you need to find out if a Probate has been granted on the will. You can do this by contacting the Supreme Court.

Your next step will be to file a Probate caveat, which prevents the granting of a Probate until all parties agree that the caveat can be removed or the court orders it to be removed.

If an agreement between all parties is not reached in regards to the validity of the will, you can commence court proceedings by filing a Statement of Claim which sets out the reasons why the will is allegedly invalid.

The defendants of the will can file a Defence to the Claim in court which will set out the reasons why they believe that the will is valid and correct.

Both parties should prepare their evidence to bring before the court in support of their claims or defence. This will allow a Judge to consider the evidence and determine the outcome of the proceedings.

You Can Seek Accurate Legal Advice And Representation

We understand that contesting a will is often a difficult and emotional time. If you are currently facing legal challenges due to a will, our team of specialised and talented will solicitors on the Central Coast can assist you through the process.

Our solicitors are experts in this field and can assist you with contesting a will, as well as handling all stages of a deceased’s estate, Probate claims or will. 

Get in touch with our legal team today to discuss your specific situation with us.