The death of a family member is a difficult time for all involved, and it is not often clear what needs to happen to respectfully carry out their wishes. Our solicitors have practised in Wills and Estates for decades, some even obtaining master’s degrees in that area of law. We can advise you about issues that can arise and recommend ways in which you can make sure your wishes are fulfilled.
Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Enduring Guardians
Even a simple Will can go a long way to helping those you care about. Having such a Will in place will not only help fulfil your wishes but also reduce stress and costs to your beneficiaries. Larger estates may require a more complex Will, and certain circumstances may require the setting up of testamentary trusts. We can draw up a Will for you that meets any of these needs, as well as:
Advise you in regard to succession laws;
Draft Wills that reflect your wishes, minimise tax and maximise your estate;
Set up family and testamentary trusts;
Advise you on minimising the chance that your Will may be contested or subject to litigation;
Safely store your Will in our strong room until it is needed.
Importantly, superannuation is not ordinarily covered by a Will. We may prepare the required documentation on your behalf to ensure any superannuation remaining after your death is distributed according to your wishes.
When considering or reviewing your Will we strongly recommend considering making plans for any future loss of capacity by putting in place an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Appointment of Enduring Guardian. These will ensure that, should you be unable or need assistance to make decisions about your legal and financial affairs or health and lifestyle, there will be people that you trust in place to make these decisions for you.
We offer fixed legal costs for simple Wills, Powers of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian, for both couples and individuals.
Probate and Letters of Administration
In most Estates, before the assets of an estate can be distributed according to a Will, a Grant of Probate must be sought from the Supreme Court of New South Wales Probate Division. This is effectively permission to administer the estate of the deceased party and entails carrying out mandated task, which must be done before Probate can be granted. If the deceased did not leave a Will, the next of kin may apply to the Supreme Court of New South Wales for Letters of Administration. We can apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration on your behalf and guide you in administering the deceased’s estates.
Importantly, any superannuation left behind may not be covered by a Will. We can contact the trustee of the superannuation fund on your behalf and advise you on how these can be distributed.
Disputes and Claims
In the State of New South Wales, provisions by statue exist which may allow family members or dependants to make a claim on an estate, even if they are not mentioned in the deceased’s Will. This often arises when a family member writes children out of their Will which may lead to unjust results. While sometimes justified, a person may make unsound decisions or be influenced by a self-interested third party when making a Will.
A number of remedies may exists in these circumstances whereby the latest Will can be set aside in favour of a previous Will due to the deceased not having capacity at the time it was made, or due to the undue influence of a third party.
If your questions still have not been answered, just fill out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Alternatively, make an appointment and we will be happy to discuss your particular issues with you.