Can an executor contest a will?

Can an executor contest a will in Sydney, NSW?

In Sydney, NSW, there are limited situations in which an executor can contest a will. If you are an executor in NSW contemplating contesting a will, seeking professional legal advice is crucial.

At Szabo & Associates, our expert contesting a will solicitors in Sydney and New South Wales can guide you through the legal complexities of contesting a will.

Grounds for an Executor to Contest a Will in Sydney, NSW

An executor’s primary duty is to carry out the deceased’ instructions as outlined in their will and act in the estate’s and its beneficiaries’ best interests. There are scenarios where an executor may have valid grounds to challenge a will. These grounds include:

  • Challenging the will’s validity: This scenario involves questioning whether the will is legally sound. The three main grounds for contesting validity include a lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, and fraud or forgery.

Challenging the validity of a testator’s will is a complex process that requires substantial evidence to prove it invalid. Evidence proving a will invalid may include demonstrating a forged signature, proof of a medical diagnosis indicating mental incapacity, witness testimony regarding the testator’s state of mind when they signed their will, or evidence of an undue influence on the testator during the will’s execution.

  • Making a family provision claim: This scenario applies when the executor believes the will fails to adequately provide for their financial needs or those of eligible dependents.

The executor must be someone eligible to make a claim under the Succession Act 2006, such as a spouse, de facto partner, child, or someone who was financially dependent on the deceased. The claim argues that the will does not provide for their reasonable maintenance, education, or training needs.

Process for an Executor to Contest a Will in NSW

If no successful resolution alternatives, such as negotiation or a deed of variation, can be reached, an executor can contest a will within one year of the testator’s death. Contesting a will in Sydney involves navigating the NSW Supreme Court system and involves the following general steps:

  • Seek legal advice: Consult a solicitor specialising in NSW probate and estate litigation.
  • Gather evidence: Depending on the ground you choose to contest the will, you must gather evidence to support your claim. This evidence may include medical records, witness statements, or financial documents.
  • Formal application: If proceeding with a contest, your contesting a wills solicitor in NSW will file an application with the Supreme Court, initiating contested proceedings.
  • Court hearing: If mediation under Section 98 of the Succession Act 2006 fails, the case will be heard by a judge for a final decision.

Seek Help from a Will Solicitor

Seeking professional guidance from our contesting a will solicitors at Szabo & Associates Solicitors can help you reach a resolution that minimises conflict and cost. If you are an executor considering contesting a will, call us at 02 9281 5088 or fill out our contact form today.

Why choose Szabo Solicitors

30 years' experience

George Szabo and our Team of Solicitors have more than 30 years of experience with contesting wills in Sydney, NSW and across other States in Australia too. 

High success rate

Years of experience and dedication ensure our high success rate in contesting wills cases.

Personal service

Our personalised approach ensures exceptional service tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.

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Contact Szabo Solicitors

Suite 302 Level 3
55 Holt Street
Surry Hills
NSW 2010

PO Box 282 Surry Hills

Phone 02 9281 5088
Fax 02 9281 5988

Our Wills & Estate Disputes Solicitors serve clients in communities throughout Sydney and NSW, including the Eastern Suburbs, Lower North Shore, Upper North Shore, Northern Beaches, Sutherland Shire and beyond.

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