A will dispute can be settled at any time once the parties can agree between themselves who should pay the costs.
If the dispute is not settled and the matter proceeds to a final hearing, the Court can decide how costs are to be paid but not the amount to be paid, which is subject to assessment.
At assessment, the Court will determine the level of the bill to be paid by the losing party.
The usual rules in terms of costs for litigation, and therefore for claims for will disputes, are that the unsuccessful party, i.e. the loser, pays the successful party’s (i.e. the winner) costs, as well as their own. This is contrary to the common misconception that all the parties’ costs are paid from the estate.