A Guide On Wills Disputes

Do you wish to contest a will? Could be you feel that the testator did not consider your needs when making the will. Alternatively, it could be that you believe that the will is not genuine. Read this guide to learn about wills disputes in Australia. 

Who Can Contest A Will?

Wills can be challenged by anyone who believes that the testator had a responsibility to provide for them once they died. It could either be a beneficiary named in the will or a person who would have benefitted from the deceased estate if the testator died intestate (without a will). As such, spouses, de-facto partners, children, and dependants (close relatives, friends, or adopted children) all have a right to contest the will.  

Reasons To Contest A Will

Below are some reasons why you could challenge a will: 

Legality Of The Will

People will often contest a will if it does not meet the minimum legal requirements. Wills in Australia should be made by people aged 18 years or above. The testator should sign the will in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses should not be beneficiaries of the estate. Besides, they do not have to read the will. However, they should sign the document. Your will should not contain contradicting clauses. 

Family Provision Claim

You can challenge a will if you believe that the testator was grossly unfair when making the will or if they left you out of the will. When making a decision, the court will determine your needs vis-a-vis the estate's value and the needs of other beneficiaries. In some cases, testators will leave a letter explaining why beneficiaries did not receive an equal portion of the estate. If this is the case, you will have a difficult time contesting the will. 

Lack Of Testamentary Capacity

A will could also be challenged if the testator did not have the mental capacity to write the will. For instance, take a case where the testator was not in their right state of mind or was incapacitated due to illness. The court requires you to provide medical records proving that the testator's condition affected his or her state of mind. 


Beneficiaries could also contest the will if they believe it was written under duress. It happens when one or more parties coerce the testator to favour them in the will. For instance, a primary caregiver could force the testator to leave a significant portion of the estate in their name. 

You can challenge a will if it does not meet the legal requirements, if you believe that the testator was unfair or if the testator did not have testamentary capacity or was under duress. 

Contact an estate law service to learn more about wills.