Published 16 Feb 2017
Contesting a will is often a big decision for people to make, particularly if they believe a dispute could cause a lasting rift between loved ones. There are also a number of common misconceptions about the process that may prevent someone from seeking further advice on the next steps.
We'll try to list some of the most frequent myths about contesting a will that we come across when talking to clients. Hopefully, you'll feel more confident about discussing your case with an experienced lawyer to see whether or not you could be eligible to pursue a dispute.
Myth #1: My case will end up in court
The idea of a lengthy and expensive court battle can be a huge deterrent for people who are considering contesting a will. However, many disputes are actually resolved via a settlement long before the case reaches a judge.
This often minimises the emotional impact on family and friends, as well as keeping costs low. Agreeing to a settlement should ensure all parties are happy with the final decisions.
Myth #2: I could lose a lot of money
You may worry that you will be left severely out of pocket in terms of legal fees and other costs if your case is unsuccessful. But no-win, no-fee services can help you pursue a dispute without having to cover the up-front expenses.
Gerard Malouf & Partners Will Dispute Lawyers will even offer to reduce our fee if you are unhappy with our services, and you won't have to pay a cent if the verdict does not go in your favour.
Myth #3: Contesting a will is rarely successful
This is simply not true - and there is research to prove it. A study from the University of Queensland and other academic institutions indicated that will contestations have "a high rate of success", with many cases fought under family provision law.
Adult children are usually the most common claimants, but any eligible person can launch a dispute and expect a reasonable chance of coming away with a favourable outcome.
These are just three of the misconceptions we regularly encounter when serving our clients in NSW. Do they sound familiar? Would you like to know more?
Please contact one of our expert lawyers to learn how you can take the next step towards contesting a will.