Who Can Contest a Will?

There are a number of situations that may give you the right to contest a will.

Only a limited number of people and entities involved in the life of the deceased can legally file to challenge the validity of a last Will and testament. In legal terms this is referred to as an “eligible person”. In order to qualify as an ‘eligible person’, the involved party must be personally affected by the outcome of the case.


In Victoria, the category of people who can contest a will is broad and can include:

  • A surviving husband or wife;
  • A surviving domestic partner or same sex partner;
  • Children of the deceased (and in some cases, step-children and grandchildren);
  • Other people who were dependent on the deceased;
  • Those who the deceased was dependent upon.

A surviving husband or wife;


There are also a number of other considerations that will be taken into account when considering who can contest a Will, such as:

  • The Will and evidence about why the Will-maker made the Will as they did
  • Whether the person who died had a ‘moral duty’ to provide for the applicant
  • Whether adequate provision was made for the applicant, if not, what provision should have been made
  • Any physical, mental or intellectual disability of the applicant and any other beneficiary
  • Whether the person was fully or partly dependent of the Deceased
  • The nature of the relationship between the applicant and the deceased
  • How the other people named in the Will may be affected by a change

If you are not eligible to contest a Will under the circumstances mentioned above, you may still be in a position to challenge the Will or bring another type of Will dispute to the table. Contact Hentys Lawyers if you’d like to discus your options in this case.


Each Australian State and Territory has its own laws regarding contesting Wills. While the situations under which a Will can be contested are similar across the nation, you may be able to contest a Will in Victoria under these circumstances:

  • you were dependent on the deceased
  • your share of the estate is not adequate for your maintenance and support
  • your relationship with the deceased only began after the last Will was made
  • the Will does not provide for the partner or children in another marriage or de facto relationship
  • you believe that the Will is grossly unfair
  • we can show that the Will maker was not in a sound state of mind when they made a Will
  • we can show that the Will maker was unduly influenced by one or more of the beneficiaries, or
  • the Will is unclear.
Our Simple 4 Step Process

1 Review Your Claim
The most important step is to determine if you have a reasonable claim

1 Assess Your Case
We estimate the size of your claim and for our legal costs, not including disbursements

1 Commence Proceedings
We’re with you every step of the way, managing the entire process on your behalf

1 Settle Your Case
We apply our knowledge and expertise to reach the settlement you are entitled to