It is always difficult to lose a loved one. We understand that, during such a difficult time, the idea of your loved one’s Will being challenged or contested often merely only adds to your distress, including for your loved one’s executors and beneficiaries.
Executors’ Duties and Costs
If a Will is contested or challenged, the executor or executors of the Will are legally obliged to defend it, and its provisions. (However, the executors also have the right to renounce their executorship if they so choose.) An administrator or beneficiary may also be the appropriate party to defend a Will and its provisions in some cases.
Usually, costs associated with defending a Will are taken out of the estate itself, and the Executors themselves are not held liable for any costs incurred during the process.
What does it mean to challenge or contest a Will?
Challenging a will questions its validity, whereas contesting a will questions the fairness of its provisions.
The validity of a Will may be challenged upon a couple of different grounds, including if it is believed the testator lacked capacity at the time they signed the Will, or if it is believed the testator only signed the Will under duress. These claims can be mounted prior to a grant of Probate, and a caveat against a grant of Probate may be filed to the Supreme Court of NSW.
A Family Provision Claim is a common type of contest to a Will. This type of claim can only be mounted after Probate has been granted.
Defending the Will against any of these types of claim involves different procedures, but PW Lawyers can help you defend a Will against any, or all, of these types of claims.
PW Lawyers can help
If a Will is challenged or contested, PW Lawyers can help. Our team of experienced lawyers specialises in all areas of law relating to Wills and Estates, including litigation.