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Legal > Civil & Commercial Litigation

Estates Disputes:

Overview FAQs Articles Locations

Disputes involving estates often concern claims over the title of property. There are different types of estates and these can be embroiled in both civil litigation or commercial litigation. Where an estate is involved in a civil claim, that will generally involve a dispute over the title of property between two individuals and it can be in relation to the ownership of a residential property (house or strata title) or commercial property. Where an estate is involved in a commercial claim, this may mean something along the lines of how the property is used, for what purpose and by whom.

Estate disputes can be characterised as family estate disputes or life estate disputes. Wills disputes usually arise where a person believes that he or she believes that he or she should have been included in a will, or where he or she thinks he or she may have been removed from a will unlawfully, or where there is a dispute on the interpretation of the terms of a will, last testament, or where there is a codicil to a will the effect of which is not easily determined. Where an individual believes that his or her rights have been transgressed or abridged, it is important to treat the matter with the utmost seriousness and sensitivity. Estate disputes can have a significant impact on the future asset value of litigating parties, as the value of the estate may fluctuate over time. Ignoring a legitimate claim today may mean that future wealth may have been squandered.

Ordinarily, where there is some ambiguity in terms of how an estate is managed and where a legitimate claim is not pursued, an inference may be drawn that a party has forfeited their rights and this might prejudice their ability to pursue their rights in the future. For example, the manner in which property is dealt with and used can affect the title to that property. An obvious and extreme example of this is what is known as adverse possession, where (generally speaking) the original owner of property has been deemed to have abandoned it and where another individual can prove consistent and permanent occupation.

Wills & Estates Law is a complicated area of the law and there are many legal principles and concepts as well as a very large body of case law which would have to be considered before a preliminary determination can be made on the risks, liabilities and consequences a certain course of conduct may manifest. If a person is involved in an estate dispute, an estate disputes solicitor who has experience in and deals with a broad range of civil and commercial matters may be best suited to provide the necessary legal advice. An estate dispute lawyer who has dealt with civil litigation and commercial litigation matters will be able to draw from a broad range of legal expertise, across many other practice areas, when approaching the problem at hand.

If you require assistance with an estate matter, you may wish to contact our office and make an appointment to see one of our civil litigation solicitors in our Sydney office. By appointment, we can also make a time for you to see one of our lawyers in one of our branch offices.

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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