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Estate disputes and litigation

Disputes in relation to Wills and Estates

We can advise and assist you when there is a dispute in relation to a will or an estate, including disputes about:

 

  • Who should have the authority to administer an estate;

  • Whether a particular document, recording or note is a will;

  • The meaning of words in a will;

  • Whether there is an error in the will;

  • Whether the deceased had the requisite testamentary capacity (ie mental capacity) to make a will;

  • Whether the deceased was subject to fraud or undue influence when making their will;

  • Whether a promise made by the deceased should be fulfilled; 

  • Whether the deceased should have provided for a particular person or provided more for them from their estate. For more information about this type of dispute, see below.

Family Provision claims

If you have been left out of a will or think you should have received more of the estate, you may be able to make a claim known as a “family provision claim.” This is a claim to receive provision, or greater provision, than you otherwise would under the Will or the laws of intestacy (where there is no will).

Only certain people (depending on their relationship to the deceased person) can make a family provision claim and the claim must be brought within the relevant time limit, unless otherwise permitted by the Court. If you are considering making a family provision claim, it is important to contact us quickly.

We can assist you with all aspects of making or defending a family provision claim, including assisting you to negotiate an agreement to end the dispute, as quickly as possible. 

See our knowledge hub for more detailed information about family provision claims and case summaries. ​

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Even with the best of intentions,
disputes can arise for many reasons. 

Disputes with Executors/Administrators

Disputes with Executors/Administrators may arise for many reasons. Executors/Administrators have an obligation to administer an estate fairly, impartially, in a timely manner and in accordance with the terms of the Will of the laws of intestacy (if there is no will).

 

If duties are not performed properly, the Executor or Administrator can, in some circumstances, be held personally responsible for any loss to the beneficiaries of the estate. In some circumstances, they can also be replaced. 

 

If you are unhappy with an Executor/Administrator or about how an estate is being administered, we can help.

 

If you are an Executor/Administrator and need some guidance with respect to your duties or to manage a dispute, please contact us for assistance.

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Not all disputes need to go to court.

Collaborative Practice for resolving disputes 

In some instances, there is no option but to commence court proceedings to request a Court to resolve a dispute. However, where time permits and the parties to the dispute are willing, Collaborative Practice offers an alternative method of dispute resolution. Collaborative Practice involves the parties, with their respective lawyers, engaging in a number of meetings to collaborate together, to find a solution to the dispute. When necessary, the parties and their lawyers may call on independent experts, such as an accountant, a financial planner, a counsellor or other professional to assist them to communicate or to otherwise assist them together, to resolve the dispute. 

Further information about Collaborative Practice can be found by following the links below:

http://collabprofessionalsnsw.org.au

https://www.lawsociety.com.au/advocacy-and-resources/publications-and-resources/my-practice-area/collaborative-law

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Enquiries

For any enquiries, questions or comments, please call:

+61 2 8089 3139 

or contact us by email here

Sydney City Office

Level 21

133 Castlereagh Street 

Sydney NSW 2000

Pymble Office

Suite 2 Level 2, The Bureau

14 - 16 Suakin Street

Pymble Sydney 2073

E:   info@mjmlawyers.com.au

T: 61 2 8089 3139

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© 2020 MJM Lawyers Pty Ltd

ACN 612 454 949. 

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What to expect when you visit our offices.

 

Our offices are designed to encourage you to feel calm and relaxed. We will listen carefully to your story before presenting some well-researched options to suit your situation. 

There is ample parking near our office and we are close to public transport and shops. 

We offer fixed fees where possible so that you will know in advance how much our services will cost.

The pictures shown here are our actual office, provided courtesy of The Bureau, Pymble.

We provide regular information on different aspects of wills and estates law.  You can subscribe to our news feed here.

Our specialist legal practice at a glance.

 

Our highly trained practitioners are specialists in the following legal areas:

- Wills and Estate Planning

- Probate and Administration

- Resolving Wills and Estate Disputes

- Advising in relation to trusts 

- Powers of Attorney

- Enduring guardianship

- The affairs of incapable persons

We also specialise in listening. We understand that these matters can be distressing and we will give you the best advice possible for your circumstances.