Are you an executor named in a will that is being contested? Commiserations. We know the role of executor is time-consuming and complicated enough without having to face this additional challenge.
The best advice we can give is to get experienced advice, early. Many clients come to us having used their local conveyancing or family law solicitor only to find a lot of time and money has been wasted by not speaking to a specialist straight-up.
Defending a will not only requires a solid understanding of the role and duties of an executor, but an ability to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the claim, balanced against the wishes of the deceased, the estate’s financial ability to meet competing claims and the order of prioritisation of such claims.
Settling a case early is often the best outcome. But enabling a good settlement requires a level of experience sufficient to predict what a judge would do in your situation. If your legal team can facilitate an early settlement legal fees are considerably reduced, often halved, and the benefit of estate monies goes to the beneficiaries for whom it was intended and not solicitors and barristers.
A specialist lawyer knows the right questions to ask to undertake this evaluation. He or she can more easily assess the merits of a dispute and advise on how to seek an early resolution. He or she knows the ‘tips and traps’ and minimises costs by acting without hesitation. Further, a specialist is much less likely to require the opinion of a barrister in the early stages, representing yet another cost saving.
If you are an executor, in any state, and you are on uncertain ground we encourage you to call us on 1800 720 211 - an experienced will dispute lawyer will answer the phone.