Estate Litigation

  TABLE OF CONTENTS

Whether you are contemplating challenging a Will, or you are the executor or beneficiary of a Will that is being challenged, our highly experienced lawyers are here to assist you.

Will disputes are increasingly common, especially given the changing nature of Australian families arising from the increasing prominence of remarriage and “blended families”. Despite the sensitivity surrounding the topic, estate litigation doesn’t need to be an acrimonious battle – it’s oftentimes about working with all parties to bring about a respectable outcome. 

If you expected to be a beneficiary of a will but have not been provided for, you can make a claim against the distribution of any estate under the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) (“the Act”) provided you can clearly establish the reasons why you should be considered a beneficiary. 

The law surrounding Will disputes is complex, and can differ significantly from state to state, so it’s imperative to retain a Will dispute lawyer with local experience. To bring a challenge to a Will you must be an eligible applicant which typically involves having had a close and significant relationship with the deceased, and on that basis being able to demonstrate a failure of adequate provision in the Will.

Under the Act, an eligible person in relation to the deceased is either:

  • de jure spouse (i.e. marriage recognised by the state);
  • de facto spouse;
  • A child;
  • A former de jure spouse;
  • A grandchild;
  • A person who, at any particular time, was partly or wholly dependent on the deceased;
  • A person who, at any particular time, was a member of the household of which the deceased was a member; and
  • A person with whom the deceased had a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased’s death.
 

If you are contemplating making a claim against a deceased estate, you should avoid delay in seeking out legal advice as there are strict time limits for bringing claims. Your first consultation is free and it’s at this point that we can determine if your case is strong and should be pursued. 

We can also assist in circumstances where lack of testamentary capacity or duress, such as that arising from dementia or elder abuse, are suspected of influence in the making of a will. 

 

Pricing Options

We believe in offering our clients flexible and transparent pricing arrangements to suit their preferences and commercial imperatives.

Depending upon the matter, we can offer you the following pricing options:

1. Hourly rate pricing: this is the legal industry standard method of billing. The amount of time spent working on a matter is the amount that will be billed, irrespective of outcome or value to the client. This option works best where there is a relationship of trust in which the scope of work is difficult to accurately price.

2. Fixed fee: this is an arrangement for the completion of defined piece of work at a fixed cost. This option gives the client cost certainty in terms of cost. This type of pricing is most suitable for reasonably simple matters lacking any unpredictable variables (e.g. a conveyance).

3. Capped fee: a capped fee is similar to the hourly pricing arrangement except the client stops paying after a certain “cap”. This provides costs certainty to the client as they will know the maximum amount that they will be liable to pay, with the possibility of a lower amount being payable if the work is completed more efficiently than the cap allows. This arrangement is generally suitable for medium complexity work with a limited number of material variables.

4. Risk sharing arrangement: an arrangement whereby the law firm agrees to receive only a proportion of its professional fees billed with the balance payable on the successful conclusion of your matter. Disbursements are typically payable paid in full. This type of arrangement typically works well in complex large-scale litigation such as class actions.

5. Monthly retainer: this arrangement requires the client to pay a fixed amount every month in return for services which have a reasonably predictable steady flow. This is usually suitable for regular low complexity work with few to no variables.

Will Disputes

Death and loss of someone close to you is an emotionally exhaustive time, which is made all the more difficult when you are faced with an unfair Will. MC Lawyers & Advisers is a trusted and experienced firm which you can rely upon to treat you with empathy during this difficult period. Our Will dispute and estates lawyers are experienced in winning fair compensation for our clients on a no-win, no fee basis.