Inheritance disputes

If a Will or the laws of intestacy do not make adequate provision for certain family members, they may be open to challenge.

Certain family members who have been left without adequate provision from an estate may be able to challenge a Will or the laws of intestacy. Strict time limits apply, so seek advice as early as possible.

The Court will consider all the circumstances of the case to determine whether the Will or the laws of intestacy make adequate provision for the proper maintenance, support, education or advancement in life of the applicant. If the Court finds that an adequate provision has not been made for the applicant, it will effectively re-write the Will so that it reflects what a wise and just testator would have done.

You should also obtain legal advice if: 

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How we can help you

We recommend you start by booking a consultation. After the consultation we will give you a quote for our further services.

Initial consultation

$385

We will give you initial advice about whether the estate is open to challenge and your next steps.

Unable to attend our office? We can conduct your consultation by telephone or Skype – please contact us.

Our fixed fee includes:

  • a meeting of up to 60 minutes at our office; and
  • an estimate of costs for future representation.

What to bring to the consultation:

  • your photo identification;
  • a copy of the Will;
  • a statement of the assets and liabilities of the estate, if available.

Advice and representation

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Our plain-English legal guide has comprehensive and practical advice to help you to take charge and finalise the estate.

FAQs

You may be able to challenge a Will if you have one of the following relationships with the testator:

  • married or de facto partner immediately before the testator’s death;
  • a former spouse or former de facto partner if you received or were entitled to receive maintenance from the testator;
  • a child;
  • a grandchild or step-child (in certain circumstances); and
  • a parent or step-parent.

The Court will first consider whether the testator has made an adequate provision for you in your particular circumstances. This includes consideration of:

  • your financial position, level of education and age;
  • the provision made for you in the Will (if any);
  • the relationship the testator had with you and the other beneficiaries;
  • the value and nature of the estate;
  • any contribution you have made to the testator’s assets;
  • the needs of other family members; and
  • any conduct that you have engaged in that may disentitle you to a share of the estate.

If the Court finds that an adequate provision has not been made for you, it will effectively re-write the Will so that it reflects what a wise and just testator would have done.

If you intend to challenge a Will, time is of the essence. You must apply within 6 months from the date of any grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (although the Court has a discretion to extend the deadline).

A beneficiary of a challenged Will does not need to actively participate in the proceedings. However, if the Court upholds the challenge, the amount you will receive under the Will may be reduced. For this reason, you may want to present your financial and personal circumstances to the Court to persuade it not to reduce your entitlement.

As an executor, you will need to be actively involved in the court proceedings. Your role is two-fold: to provide information regarding the value and nature of the estate and to defend the existing Will. In most cases, an executor will be entitled to have their legal costs paid from the estate, irrespective of the outcome of the proceedings.

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Michael has been practising law in Western Australia since 1997 and is an experienced lawyer in property law, family law and succession law. Michael has a strong base of knowledge and experience from assisting hundreds of clients in these……
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Nigel is an experienced lawyer who leads the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution team. Having worked for Birman & Ride since 2011, he has experience in a wide variety of litigation matters including deceased estate litigation, family provision claims,……
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Lucy is a talented lawyer, business administrator and manager. In her nine years with Birman & Ride she has developed her skills in various roles including lawyer, team leader, HR manager, business analyst, salesperson and marketing manager. In the……
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Jennifer graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2015 with bachelor degrees in Law and Arts (majoring in Philosophy). Jennifer joined the Birman & Ride team in May 2019 and works in the firm’s Wills and Probate team…….
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Carolina joined Birman & Ride in the firm’s Wills and Probate team in December 2020. She is passionate about helping clients prepare and plan for the welfare of their dependants when they are no longer around. As the parent……
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Sriram Srikrishnan (Sri) is a lawyer at Birman & Ride and works in the Wills and Estates and Litigation teams. Sri assists people to prepare Wills, applications for Probate and administer deceased estates. He also enjoys being creative with……
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Thank you for your help and explaining what to do regarding my father’s estate.
Thank you for your help
January 13, 2021
Michael Hodgkins is the Legal Adviser in this case. Very personalised & professional, friendly and trustworthy. Very prompt & punctual. Explanations are simple without any jargon. Always helpful and prompt in undertaking any tasks. Gives confidence & reassurance. Above all , the price is right. Thank you Michael.
Mr V
January 9, 2021
Quick and great service very happy to have gone with Perth Probate Centre.
Mr M
January 8, 2021
Feedback so far from me is that you are excellent. I have up to now always been kept up to date with any news on the dot, staff are extremely competent as far as tell. Can’t wait to send my end review.
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January 6, 2021
My sister and I were impressed with the professionalism of Jennifer Nguyen throughout our meeting in December 2020. Our application for a grant of probate to the Supreme Court was processed in good time thanks to her attention to detail. We especially appreciated Ms Nguyen’s electronic white board explanations as she took us through each step of the application process as well as her close scrutiny of the Will and associated documents. We look forward to meeting face to face with her ASAP in January this year so personalised advice can be given on how we should administer our late father’s estate via a customised step by step guide summarising this advice. Michael Hodgkins’ witnessing of the Supreme Court application before it was lodged was also to the point. and appreciated. We are looking forward to administration our late father’s Will.
Mr H
January 5, 2021
Hi Michael, thank you so very much for [your work]. Like I’ve said before, you’ve done a great job and are still doing a great job. Thank you. May we wish you and all your staff and family a very merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year.
Mr and Ms V
December 23, 2020

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