Legal Services

Wills Dispute Lawyers Perth and Western Australia

At Summers Legal we have extensive experience in will disputes, probate, and inheritance claims. We understand that the passing away of a family member or friend is never an easy time, even without the added stress of will, probate, or estate disputes.

Our will and estate lawyers can assist you during this difficult time, whether you have been wrongfully left out of a will or need to defend a wrongful attack against your inheritance.

Wills, probate, and deceased estate disputes are complex areas of the legal industry. Estates law is an ever-changing field of law with increasingly complex asset pool configurations and family relationships. Probate and deceased estates disputes have increased in Australia as a result of increasing estate wealth.

Under the Family Provision Act 1972, there is a strict time limit on a potential claim on wills or an estate. Obtaining timely legal guidance if you wish to dispute a will, probate, or make an inheritance claim against an estate is paramount in order to meet these time limits.

It’s essential for potential claimants to seek legal advice as early as possible from highly experienced wills, probate, and estate dispute lawyers to increase your chances of a positive outcome for your claim.

Types of Will & Estate Disputes

There are various disputes that can arise in relation to a deceased person’s will, probate, or estate, including (but not limited to):

  • Claims by an eligible party seeking adequate (further) provision under a will pursuant to the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA). This is known as a testator’s family maintenance or family provision claim.
  • Challenging the validity of a will (for example, issues with the testator’s capacity and/or knowledge and approval of the terms of the will, failure of a will to comply with formal requirements or undue influence/duress against the testator)
  • Determining the correct interpretation of a will (often where a will has been poorly drafted)
  • Proving an informal will
  • Claims against a non-performing executor/administrator
  • Other claims by and against a deceased estate and executors/administrators

Our law firm has many years of experience with will, probate, and estate disputes for clients across Western Australia. We provide legal counsel tailored to your unique circumstances.

Speak To Our Perth Will & Estate Dispute Lawyers

Our will dispute lawyers can provide legal advice in a range of scenarios, including:

  • You have been unfairly left out of a will
  • A will does not make adequate provision for you
  • There is an inequality between what you received compared to other beneficiaries
  • You are a de facto partner, step-parent, or step-child of the deceased person and have been left out or not provided with adequate provision
  • You need to defend a challenge for your part of the inheritance
  • You have concerns about the deceased’s testamentary capacity (i.e. mental capacity) at the time the will was made
  • You are concerned the deceased received undue pressure from another party when making the will

Despite the many complexities that can arise in contested wills, probate, and estates disputes, our experienced legal team provides clear and concise advice and further information to clients on all relevant matters. We offer a personal, tailored approach, appreciating that contested wills, probate, and estates disputes are often emotional and highly sensitive.

Strong advocacy is also provided both in and out of court, in any mediations, informal conferences, meetings, or legal representation in court proceedings that may be required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need to Go To Court Over My Will Dispute?

No, the first step is dispute resolution which can be done outside of court via arbitration or mediation. Estate litigation often incurs high legal fees and can make an already difficult time more stressful. It can result in going to court, however it doesn’t have to come to this.

It’s important to obtain legal advice early to increase your chances of a positive outcome and reduce your legal costs.

Can Any Family Member Challenge a Will or the Estate of the Deceased Person?

Only certain family members are eligible to make an inheritance claim or dispute wills, and different states within Australia have different rules about who can make a claim. In Western Australia, an eligible person can contest a will by making a Family Provision Claim. Eligible persons who can make a claim on the deceased’s estate include:

  • A spouse or de facto partner of the deceased is eligible to make a claim
  • A former spouse or de facto partner if they receive maintenance or are entitled to proper maintenance from the deceased immediately before the deceased’s death; or at the date of the deceased’s death
  • A child of the deceased is eligible to make a claim in the event of a parent’s death
  • Any step-children of the deceased who were maintained or entitled to be maintained by the deceased
  • A grandchild under certain circumstances
  • A parent of the deceased

Our inheritance lawyers can provide practical advice and assist you in resolving your inheritance dispute both in and out of court. Whether you are the person challenging or defending your inheritance, we can assist you with reaching a speedy resolution, either through negotiation or court order.

How Can I Prove an Informal Will?

For a will to be valid it must be in writing, signed and witnessed correctly, however the court does have the power to admit informal wills into probate. Applications to contest wills are made in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. If you have concerns about the validity of a will or whether you need to obtain a grant of probate, it’s best to talk to a lawyer. Our law firm can help to ascertain if a valid will exists and advise you of the next steps that you should take.

Are There Time Limits on Contesting a Will?

Making claims on someone’s estate under the Family Provision Act 1972 must occur within 6 months for the claim to be considered.

What If There is No Will?

If the deceased left no will behind, the estate of the deceased will be distributed to the beneficiaries set out in the Administration Act 1903 (WA). You may be able to seek provision out of the estate of the deceased if you are not one of the persons entitled to receive a share under the Administration Act 1903 (WA).

Words from our Clients

  • Expert commercial lawyers who we have been using for nearly 3 decades. Highly recommend them for expertise in all commercial and property matters.

    Cocos Restaurant
  • First-class Legal Service from Paul Summers. Highly qualified and experienced in Law relating to my business. I was well equipped with knowledge from my consultation. This Law firm is one you can trust on every level. I will recommend and use it again
    Ilòna Jeffs

    Ilòna Jeffs
  • If only all people were so helpful the world would be a better place. Excellent is the word to describe their work.

    Miriam Mondaca
  • Paul Summers and his team are the best legal team I know in Perth. The very best commercial outcome.

    Kamran Gaeini
  • I have personally used Paul Summers and Summerslegal to act on behalf of a number of companies that I have been involved with both in the private and public sectors over the last 20 years. His advice and the advice of his firm has always been excellent and I can highly recommend his services and often do!

    Todd Zani
  • After a lengthy and drawn out business purchase, I’m so glad to have come across Paul Summers. Despite never having met (located interstate but needing a WA based solicitor) Paul treated us like long time clients and looked after us right throughout. We are so grateful – thank you!

    Erin de Angelis
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Please contact the Team at Summers Legal today.