Contesting a Will: Does it Cost More than it’s Worth?

The costs of contesting a will, particularly where the applicant is successful, are generally paid out of the estate. However, as Coote v Coote illustrates, where the estate is modest the costs of a successful claim can significantly reduce the value of the estate. If you are contemplating contesting a will you need to ask yourself: Will it Cost More Than its Worth?

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Does the Outcome of the Case Affect the Costs?

The costs of contesting a will in family provision are generally paid out of the estate, particularly where an applicant is successful. However, the outcome of the case can affect the costs order which the court sees fit to make, consequently, particularly in cases where the applicant is unsuccessful, the costs will not necessarily be paid out of the estate. The following cases provide an example of the range of costs orders which may be made in cases where the applicant is unsuccessful, demonstrating that the orders made will vary depending on the circumstances of the case.

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