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Estate Dispute Lawyer

The death of a family member or loved one is difficult enough to bear without the extra burden of uncertainty around the deceased’s Will or how an estate is to be distributed.

Think you may have wrongfully been left out of a will?

Nevett Ford is here to help when matters surrounding Wills and estates go wrong.

There are various ways in which they can go wrong. For example:

  • Is the Will valid in the first place?
  • What if someone has not been included in the Will?
  • What if the people given the task to distribute an estate are not acting properly or in accordance with the law?
  • What happens if there is no Will?
  • Who is responsible for legal costs?

A Will is a statement by a person as to how they want to leave their property after death.

The validity of a Will can be challenged on a number of grounds including:

  • lack of testamentary capacity,
  • undue influence, or
  • fraud.

Lack of testamentary capacity means that at the time the person made and signed his Will he did not have “sound mind, memory and understanding”.

Undue influence means that the Will is the product of the influence of a third party, which the law sees as affecting voluntary and free expression of how a person wants to leave their property under their Will.

Fraud means that the Will was produced and/or executed without the person’s knowledge or consent and does not have their signature on it or that their signature was procured in circumstances where they could not have known the contents of Will.

In each of these examples, it is for the person who seeks to challenge the validity of the Will to prove the matters that would render the Will invalid and therefore ineffective.

If a will is found to be invalid, an earlier valid Will (if there is one) maybe given effect or the property of the deceased will be distributed according to a formula set out in the Administration and Probate Act.

If any of these situations arise, it is important for people to act quickly to obtain advice and prevent a Will being implemented.

How Nevett Ford Can Help You

Did you know you only have six months after the grant of probate to contest a will or ask for provision out of a deceased estate?

This is where an estate lawyer can assist you.  If you believe that you may be entitled to make a claim, you need to act quickly – applications must be made within six months of probate or letters of administration being granted. It is best to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible, to know your rights and avoid missing the time limit.

You will need to establish that the deceased person had a moral obligation to provide for you and that you are able to demonstrate financial need.  Categories of people who can apply for further or proper provision out of the estate include; people at the time of the deceased’s death who were a spouse or domestic partner of the deceased, children of the deceased including adopted or step children, grandchildren of the deceased, members of the deceased’s household, a registered caregiver of the deceased, people who believed the deceased was their parent and were treated as a child of the deceased by the deceased.

The team at Nevett Ford acts on behalf of both claimants who have not been adequately provided for as well as estate executors and administrators in defending provision claims. If you would like us to contact you to discuss your possible entitlement, please complete the below information and one of our team members will contact you.

Who You’ll Work With

Richard Hamilton
Stuart Wilson
Peter Lumb
Associate Director
Andrew Lumb
Special Counsel
Greg Doran
Associate Director
Steph Chafer

Our Knowledge and Experience

At Nevett Ford we have over 150 years’ experience in making wills and dealing with disputes relating to them.  With our knowledge and experience we are able to pinpoint issues and provide advice in clear and easy to understand language.

Contact us now for a half hour consultation in which we will provide advice and a strategy for action. 

Topics We’ve Written About


Understanding the Essentials: What is an executor?

Understanding the Essentials: What is an executor?

In the administration of a deceased estate, the term ‘executor’ hold significant importance. An executor is a crucial role and is the person authorised and appointed in a Will to administer an estate in accordance with the terms contained in the Will.  Often they will...

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Understanding the Essentials: What makes a valid Will?

Understanding the Essentials: What makes a valid Will?

In Victoria the elements of a valid Will are set out in the Wills Act 1997.  To ensure that your wishes are honoured after your death, it is crucial that your Will be valid because if it isn’t, your loved ones may incur additionally stress and costs in administering...

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Understanding the Essentials: How to revoke your Will

Understanding the Essentials: How to revoke your Will

Life is not always smooth sailing and occasionally it throws us a curveball, and suddenly your Will which you put so much time and thought into no longer aligns with your wishes.  Maybe you have had a change of heart, a falling out with a family member or assets have...

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Paws for thought – Including your pets in your Will

Paws for thought – Including your pets in your Will

Recently there was an article about a woman in China leaving $4.3 million to her cats and dogs rather than her children because she claimed her children rarely visited her when she was unwell.  This article prompted us to think about how with our animal companions...

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Is 2024 the year you make a Will?

Is 2024 the year you make a Will?

We are now already over 2 weeks into 2024 and as we all return to work and our holidays become a faint memory, you may have started thinking about your goals for this year. Did you make any resolutions for 2024?  Maybe a family holiday, a new home or maybe a new job? ...

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Mlam Camou (MlCam)
Mlam Camou (MlCam)
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Lisa-Marie Hinton
Lisa-Marie Hinton
My visa application was the most challenging time of my life. It was so much pressure, lots of tears and emotions. Ryan and the wonderful Team guided our family and secured my husband and children Citizenship and my PR. I think Ryan has a beautiful heart and is very kind. He listened to me when I was at my wits-end and could only cry on the phone. I would choose Ryan again. It has been a difficult journey but he never gave up on helping my family in the fight of staying together. Forever grateful. The Hintons xxx
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Jervin Paul Dhas
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Tom Simpson
Tom Simpson
During the period between 2020 - 2023 i was applying for a permanent partner visa and hired Ryan to assist me.I had spoke to 7 other immigration lawyers prior to Ryan, and the general feedback i would get back was negative (installing doubt into my mind about the likelihood of obtaining a visa in my circumstance). Ryan was the only lawyer who had a positive attitude and was optimistic about my situation and gave me a lot of free advice about what i could do even before i hired him, this was a major green flag to me so i made the decision to hire him.I couldn't of asked for a better lawyer, i would highly recommended his services to anyone. Good communication, fast responses, never hesitant to answer any queries, pleasant to speak to and most importantly a good lawyer that gets the job done.I recently obtained my PR after a 3 year process and I cannot thank Ryan (and the team) enough for their service.
Hieronim Wiatrowski
Hieronim Wiatrowski
Lili Sibic was ery professional and helpful. Highly recommended ????
Jessica Liu
Jessica Liu
Awesome and extremely professional and patient. Highly recommended!!!
Experienced, organised and friendly, Ryan is always helpful and reassuring during the entire visa application process. The entire duration has made him more than just a lawyer but a friend.
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    *If you are overseas, please call our office on +61 3 9614 7111.

    Nevett Ford Melbourne Pty Ltd

    ABN: 80 144 697 790

    Level 16, South Tower, Rialto Building, 525 Collins Street
    Melbourne, VIC 3000