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4 Mistakes To Avoid When Contesting A Will (NSW)

Wills & Estates Lawyers In Sydney

Contesting a will is a complex legal process, particularly in New South Wales (NSW), where specific regulations and guidelines govern such matters. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the intricacies of contesting a will in NSW and highlight four crucial mistakes to avoid during this challenging process.

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Understanding the Contesting Process in NSW

Contesting a will involves challenging the distribution of assets outlined in the deceased’s testament. In NSW, the process is governed by the Succession Act 2006, which outlines the grounds and procedures for contesting a will. Understanding these processes is crucial to navigating the legal landscape effectively.

Procrastinating on Taking Legal Action

Procrastination can be detrimental when contesting a will. NSW law imposes strict time limits for initiating a claim. Failing to act promptly may result in forfeiture of your right to contest. It is imperative to seek legal advice promptly if you believe you have grounds to challenge a will.

Neglecting the Importance of Professional Advice

In the complex legal realm of will contests, professional advice is invaluable. Engaging with experienced Wills & Estates Lawyers In Sydney can provide critical insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your case. This expert guidance enhances your chances of a successful resolution.

Overlooking the Validity of Grounds for Contest

Contesting a will without valid grounds is a common mistake. NSW law recognizes specific grounds for contesting, including lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, and family provision claims. Failing to assess the validity of your grounds can lead to unnecessary legal battles and financial strain.

Disregarding Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mediation and alternative dispute resolution methods offer viable alternatives to lengthy court battles. Disregarding these options can be a mistake. Opting for mediation allows disputing parties to reach a mutually agreeable settlement, minimizing emotional distress and financial burdens.


Contesting a will in NSW demands careful consideration and strategic planning. By avoiding the aforementioned mistakes and seeking professional guidance, you can navigate the legal intricacies successfully. Remember, time is of the essence, and early intervention is key to a favorable outcome.


How long do I have to contest a will in NSW?

You must initiate a claim within 12 months from the date of the deceased’s passing. Extensions are rare and granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Can I contest a will if I am not a direct family member?

Yes, NSW law allows eligible persons, including non-family members who were financially dependent on the deceased, to contest a will.

What are the potential costs of contesting a will?

The costs vary depending on the complexity of the case. Legal fees, court fees, and other associated expenses should be considered. Seeking legal advice provides clarity on potential costs.

Is it possible to settle a will dispute without going to court?

Yes, alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and negotiation offer ways to settle disputes without resorting to court litigation.

How can I ensure a smooth contesting process?

Engaging a qualified lawyer, gathering relevant documentation, and considering alternative dispute resolution methods contribute to a smoother contesting process.