Challenging a will

A will must conform to certain requirements. It must be the deceased person's last will and not some other document made by the deceased. The deceased person must be of sound mind (have "testamentary capacity") when the will was made. There may be many reasons a document put forward as a will is not accepted as valid. In these cases it may be necessary to contest a will.

Informal wills

In New South Wales, certain documents (writings) of the deceased that did not conform with earlier formal requirements for a will, can be accepted by the Supreme Court as legal wills (see Will Dispute Cases).

Using a Barrister to Challenge a Will

Most will dispute claims involve a barrister at some stage. The "other side" (the deceased estate) will almost certainly be represented by a barrister. The barrister has a considerably different role to that of the solicitor (see above "What is a barrister?"). The barrister and solicitor work together as a team in a contested will case.

A barrister can provide an opinion about the prospects of success of the will dispute case, and the gathering of evidence, and for the strategy to get the best outcome for you.

It is advantageous to have the opportunity to meet with and get to know the barrister at an early stage of your will dispute case, rather than on the day of the mediation, or if the case does not settle out of court, the day of the court hearing.