NSW Contesting a Will - Deceased Estate Mediation Action Timeframe

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2 April 2015
My friend had to contest her husband's will (long story short, married 20 years to older man, he originally bought house and small business with last of his cash. House and all profit went into his name, accounts and shares for 20 years while her savings/income was used on house maint and expenses and day to day living etc. She was under impression his will left her marital home and half of all accounts, shares, assets etc, but discovered he had made new will with public trustee leaving majority of deceased estate including the value of the home to his grown up wealthy estranged children from first marriage).

Went to mediation and agreed to settlement so she didn't have to deal with his family, accusations and general nastiness. (Btw my friend has ongoing medical issues and doesn't need the stress)

The issue is: the court order lists certain items be given to his children - they were to make arrangements to collect the items at a mutually convenient time but no timeframe was made. It has now been 8 months with no contact - she is very hesitant to contact them herself and feels she shouldn't have to pay more legal fees for letters ... Knowing the family they are likely to turn up in 10 years demanding these things... How long does she have to store everything for and at what point is "enough" enough?

Would appreciate some advice on how to get this resolved as quickly as possible...


Hi Tia,

I don't think there is anyway around it, she will have to contact them. Nothing gets people moving like a letter stating, "It has been 8 months, if you don't collect it within 60 days it will be disposed of."

She could go back to the court to seek orders, but that will all cost money with legal expenses and will require some contact with the children anyway, so I would just try a letter or email to try to sort it out herself first. One thing, make sure that you obtain some proof that the letter has been received before you dispose of anything. You don't want them to be able to argue at a later time that they didn't receive it.