Who pays court costs when a will is contested?

Published 18 May 2016

When it comes to contesting a will, there are a number of ways to approach the situation. However, in many cases, avenues such as mediation do not end with a satisfactory solution and thus litigation is essential. At times like these, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced legal representative.

As with all litigation, costs will be incurred. and while a person with a reasonable claim can be confident the court will consider their position and allocate costs to the defendants, there are times when this is not the reality. So how does the court decide who will pay the court fees?

Who pays after a successful will contestation?

In most instances, deciding who pays the costs of a will dispute depends on the outcome of the case. Typically, the costs of a successful application are paid by the estate. Yet, Section 99 of the Succession Act 2006 leaves room for alternative methods of payment.

For instance, the courts can order the successful applicant to pay the costs, however, this depends largely on the circumstances that surround individual cases. As such, it is highly important to talk to an experienced compensation lawyer.

Through their expertise, they can help you understand the avenues you can take to ensure you get the maximum settlement with minimum cost.

Can the court regulate the cost that estates pay?

Alongside divvying out court costs, Section 99 offers the court the ability to regulate the amount an estate can pay in relation to legal costs. When challenging a will, this can affect the volume of costs that will be covered by the estate you are in dispute with.

For instance, a court could order a regulation to be made that includes fixing the maximum costs for legal services that can be paid by the deceased's estate. However, if you are being advised by a quality legal specialist, their open communication can ensure your are aware of the effect this may have on you.

At Gerard Malouf and Partners, we offer a no win, no fee scheme that can ensure you are focussing on the case instead of the costs. Our litigation expert can ensure you are not restricted based on your financial position and can help you achieve a fair and just decision.

If your would like to know more about contesting a will, talk to the experts at Gerard Malouf and Partners today.

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