Contesting a Will can be a complicated process. And unfortunately there is no magic answer to the question of how much it will cost you, since court and other fees vary depending on a variety of circumstances. When all is said and done, the costs could be anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to over a hundred thousand dollars.
There are, however, certain factors to consider when you’re trying to figure out if you can afford to contest a Will. If you think you were treated unfairly in a Will, think about the following factors before proceeding.
Payment of court costs
If a Will is successfully contested, often the court costs will be covered by the estate from which the contesting party will receive an award. But, under the Succession Act 2006, Section 99 states that the court can regulate the amount an estate pays for legal costs. This means that a successful party may also be responsible for some of the costs, among other arrangements.
No win, no fee arrangement
It’s a good idea to work through your decision-making process with a legal professional. A common arrangement that attorneys offer their clients is a no win, no fee setup. This means that fees aren’t determined until a Will is successfully contested, and if the case is not successful, the client doesn’t have to pay.
This allows those contesting a Will to focus on the case and on their court date, rather than worry about all of the court costs they’re accruing. (For instance, attorneys pay fees to file the initial claim, on behalf of their client.)
However, while the no win, no fee arrangement sounds ideal, keep in mind that there are certain instances in which the court has ordered the unsuccessful party to pay the other party’s court costs. This decision would be made by the judge regardless of the no win, no fee setup with an attorney.
Since these decisions vary, it’s important to consult with a legal professional when considering the cost of contesting a Will.
At Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers, we help you navigate the legal process and successfully contest a Will. If you believe you are eligible, get in touch with our team today. We offer a 90-day complimentary trial of our legal services, in addition to a no win, no fee arrangement.