Burgess Thomson Lawyers

Contested Estate Claims

Wills & Estate Planning

Need help defending a contested will or probate?

Navigating the complexity of contested estate claims can be an emotionally fraught and legally complex process. At Burgess Thomson, we specialise in providing decisive and empathetic legal services for defending contested wills and probate matters.

Our expertise extends to all facets of contested estate law, ensuring that the wishes of the deceased are honoured and the interests of executors are robustly defended.


How Burgess Thomson Can Help with Defending a Contested Will

Personalised Legal Strategy: Our approach to defending a contested will is highly personalised. We understand that each case is unique, with its specific circumstances and nuances. Our legal team tailors a strategy that best defends your position as the executor, ensuring the wishes of the deceased are upheld.

Negotiation and Mediation: Many contested will claims are resolved through negotiation and mediation, avoiding the need for court proceedings. Burgess Thomson’s lawyers are skilled negotiators and mediators, striving to reach an amicable resolution that respects the terms of the will and the deceased’s intentions.

Representation in Court: Should a claim proceed to court, you can rely on Burgess Thomson’s litigators to provide steadfast representation. Our experience in the courtroom ensures that your case is presented with clarity and conviction, aiming for a judgment that honours the true spirit of the will.

Gathering Critical Evidence: In defending a contested will, compiling the right evidence is crucial. We assist in gathering pertinent evidence from medical practitioners, family members, and the lawyers who aided in drafting the will, constructing a comprehensive defence of the will’s validity.

Protecting the Executor’s Position: As an executor, you bear the responsibility of defending the will. Burgess Thomson safeguards your rights and responsibilities, providing legal support that ensures you can fulfill your duties without undue stress or uncertainty.


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Why Choose Burgess Thomson for Advice on a Contested Will or Probate

  • Specialised Expertise: Our lawyers have extensive experience in contested estate claims, providing you with specialised legal advice tailored to these sensitive matters.
  • Empathetic Representation: We offer representation that is not only legally astute but also empathetic to the emotional complexities involved in contested will cases.
  • Proactive Defence: Our team proactively defends the executor’s position and the will’s stipulations, employing a strategic approach to minimise the risk of adverse outcomes.
  • Effective Communication: Burgess Thomson maintains open and effective communication with all parties, ensuring transparency throughout the legal process.
  • Committed to Your Interests: We are fully committed to defending the wishes of the deceased and your interests as the executor, combining legal prowess with a commitment to achieving fair outcomes.
  • Negotiation Skills: Our lawyers possess the negotiation skills necessary to settle claims outside of court, saving time, expense, and emotional distress.
  • Comprehensive Legal Support: From evidence gathering to courtroom representation, we provide comprehensive legal support every step of the way.
  • Reputation for Excellence: Our firm’s reputation for legal excellence gives you the confidence that your contested estate claim is in capable hands.


At Burgess Thomson, we recognise that defending a contested will or probate matter is about more than just legal processes; it’s about honouring the memory of a loved one and respecting their final wishes. Our legal team is prepared to guide you through the complexities of contested estate claims with precision, dignity, and a deep respect for the legal and emotional aspects involved.

With Burgess Thomson, you gain more than legal advisors; you gain partners who are committed to protecting your rights and achieving the outcomes that reflect the true intentions of the will.

Contact us or request a quote to learn more about how our skilled team in Newcastle can help with advice on a contested will.


The validity of a Will may be challenged on grounds including the person making the will did not have the necessary mental capacity, was under undue influence or was subject to fraud or forgery. Someone could also bring a Family Provision Claim arguing that the Will is unfair and that he or she should have been a beneficiary.

The time required depends on the complexity of the case. If a settlement is reached outside of Court, it could still take 12 months to gain the Court’s approval. If an agreement cannot be reached, it could take 12 months to 2 years for a court hearing to be finalised.

If you have done nothing wrong as an Executor before or during the proceedings, usually the legal costs will be paid from the estate. The costs may also have to paid by the person challenging the Will if they lose. The legal costs involved can vary depending on the complexity of the case.

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