Will Dispute Lawyers
Central Coast

When you have just lost someone close to you, facing a legal battle over the deceased person’s Will can make the grieving period even tougher.

At Ryan & Seton Lawyers, we’re by your side. We’ll advise you when planning to make a claim, and then support and guide you every step of the way during the dispute period.

Will Disputes

If you, or someone else has been left out of a Will, or you have been unfairly treated in terms of the amount of your inheritance, we can assist you.

In those circumstances, you or someone else may be able to make a claim against the estate. You only have 12 months from the date of death to make a claim. In certain circumstances, we might be able to obtain an extension of the time limit, so please contact us to discuss your situation.

Blond woman sitting at a desk by a window, taking care of legal matters
Ryan Seton Lawyers helping advising client in regard to challenging a Will

Contesting Or Challenging A Will

If you believe the Will to be invalid due to fraud, forgery, undue influence or lack of mental capacity, the claim process involves challenging the Will. When challenging the Will, legal action involves proving that the Will should not be upheld due to validity concerns.

If you believe the division of the estate to be unfair, the claim process involves contesting the Will. When contesting the Will, legal action involves proving that the Will should not be upheld due to unfair distribution of the estate.

Contact An Award-Winning Central Coast Law Firm

Submitting A Claim Against A Will

If you want to make a claim, we can assess your claim and discuss the particular circumstances that may be relevant. If it’s worth continuing, we will contact the executors and notify them of your claim. We will then gather evidence, prepare documents and make an offer to the executors. Many claims are settled through negotiation at this stage.

If the matter isn’t resolved, we can prepare and file documents with the Court to initiate proceedings. We can still negotiate and, in some cases, mediation will be required by the Court.


Disputing A Will In Court

Settling a dispute outside of Court often has its advantages in that the parties to the dispute can control the outcome, as opposed to a judge making a decision which is outside of the parties’ control.

However, if the dispute cannot be resolved by the executors or mediation, we will then proceed to a Court hearing, where the evidence will be presented and the Judge will make a final decision. We have a great deal of experience in this area and are well-equipped to guide you and strongly advance your claim.

Ryan & Seton's Will Dispute Specialists

When Contesting Or Challenging A Will, You Need To Consider:

Who Can Claim


Reasons For Making A Claim

Who Can Claim


Reasons For Making A Claim

Why Choose Ryan & Seton Law

Progressive Advice

Our experienced lawyers know how the legal system works for you and we stay informed and skilled on the latest developments in the industry. This means better outcomes for you.

Personal Approach

Our compassionate and professional team gets to know you and your situation - we support and guide you through the challenging time of dealing with a deceased estate.

Proven Results

98% of our cases are settled outside of Court, meaning you can achieve success as quickly and efficiently as possible, without the added time, stress and expense of going to Court.

FAQs For Challenging A Will

Challenging the Will involves proving that the Will should not be upheld due to validity concerns.

Contesting the Will involves proving that the Will should not be upheld due to unfair distribution of the estate.

Depending on your circumstances, you may have legal remedies available to you. Some of the legal avenues to challenge a Will include challenging the validity of the Will or seeking an award on the basis that you unfairly received inadequate or no provision from an estate. To answer this question our deceased estate solicitors will have to meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your claim. 

When the deceased party has no recorded Will, this is referred to as “Intestate”. 

Intestacy laws are different for each state, but in NSW how a deceased estate is distributed depends on what family members the deceased has left.

Children, spouses, siblings, and parents can all influence how the estate is divided.

The law in this area is complex. It is recommended that you speak to a deceased estate solicitor

It depends on the parties involved and their willingness to settle outside of Court. Sometimes, when the parties to a dispute cannot reach agreement, Court is inevitable.

We regularly advocate a cost-benefit analysis to make sure that money is not spent chasing an adverse result. Settling a dispute outside of Court often has its advantages in that the parties to the dispute can control the outcome, as opposed to a judge making a decision which is outside of the parties’ control.

Wills do not expire, however problems can arise if you don’t update your Will regularly. For example, you may make a gift to someone who predeceases you or a former spouse, you may gift an asset to someone then sell that asset before your death, or a person may be born after your Will is made and your Will may not leave them any part of your estate.

If the terms of the Will can be carried out, then the Will is valid and binding.

If a Will has not been updated for some time, and certain parties (like children or spouses) feel they have been left inadequate financial provisions, the Will can be contested.

When challenging a Will the length of dispute is determined by a range of factors such as

  • type of dispute (challenge or contest)
  • The total number of parties involved
  • The status of whether probate has been granted
  • How complex the legal issues are
  • The amount and legitimacy of any evidence gathered
  • The size of the claim by the claimant
  • What stage the the claim is resolved at

Generally Will disputes can last anywhere between 6 to 18 months. However, if the dispute requires a Court hearing it will likely take around 2 years before the process is resolved.

It will depend on how the legal costs are classified – private cost or party costs.

Generally if you’re successful in challenging the Will, the costs will be covered by the estate.

If you’re unsuccessful in challenging a Will, the claimant will be required to pay the legal fees

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Fiona Jones
Fiona Jones
The team at Ryan & Seton Lawyers are exceptional they are the ones you want when you need guidance in all your law matters. Michael is exceptionally professional and knowledgeable but is respectful and personable at all times. Michael was recommended to me by a colleague and friend to assist in my family law matter and I couldn’t be more thankful to him and his team. At one of the most difficult times in my life when I didn’t know where to start as my previous consults with a lawyer had left me more confused. From the first phone call and every correspondence after with himself or his wonderful assistant Tayla I felt informed and clear regarding my case and always took the time to ensure the process was as easy as possible. I am forever grateful to Michael for his hard work and is definitely someone who you would want in your corner.
Sheridan Ridley
Sheridan Ridley
The staff at Ryan and Seton helped me with consent orders and property transfer after a difficult separation. Dominique was compassionate and explained the process clearly, and Mel was wonderful to deal with - communication was outstanding! Gail and Mikaela were so patient whilst waiting for the transfer to go through and were super supportive. Thank you!!!
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Jason Seage
When signing our first commercial lease my partner and I were very nervous about all the things that could go wrong. The best thing we did to help relieve the stress was hiring Tony Ryan and his team to help us sort through all the legalities. They were with us from start to finish. They simplified the process and answered every question we had, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Tony and his team. We are now confidently opening up our first business thanks to Tony.
laura mcguire
laura mcguire
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andrew kingsley
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