Wills and Estates
We offer a comprehensive range of services relating to probate, letter of administration, wills, trusts, estate planning and powers of attorney, always striving to be approachable and sympathetic to your individual needs. In matters involving bereavement and death, we care, listen and act unlike many other solicitors. We ensure such matters are handled with due dignity and empathy.
Everyone must make a Will and ensure it is kept updated. In the absence of a well drafted Will by a competent solicitor, there is a huge risk of matters ending up in court. Unfortunately, we have seen many matters going to court due to incorrect Will preparation (including by use of DIY Will kits), outdated Will due to a change of circumstances or an absence of a Will.
These matters end up being costly family court battles that have the ability to strip the deceased estate of tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, they cause unnecessary strain among surviving relatives. All this can be avoided by having competent professionals manage your Will.
As experienced litigators, we regularly see the issues contested in courts over Wills and thus are very aware of pitfalls that should be avoided in drafting a Will. This gives us an edge over other lawyers who engage in Will preparation with no litigation or court experience. We carefully assess each individuals’ circumstances paying due regard to the current position of courts regarding certain matters prior to drafting a Will.
In some difficult situations, were elderly or less able clients require a more personal level of assistance, we can also meet with you at your home or at another convenient location and if required engage with your doctor to ensure that proper documentation is prepared.
Our objective is to cater to all situations, including those where age or other health conditions can lead to a challenge to a Will in the future.
We have a wealth of knowledge in this field and can assist in any situation, irrespective of the level of complexity. We apply for a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, as required. We work with our clients through the whole process to enable Estate distribution in an efficient and cost-effective manner. We navigate our clients through any prospective claims by family members who wish to challenge the Will. As experienced litigators we will ensure that the process is streamlined to the extent practicable.
If the deceased leaves no Will and thus dies ‘intestate’, we will assist in preparing documents that will satisfy the requirements of the Supreme Court of NSW set for the grant of the Letters of Administration.
We are open to some of the fees being paid out of the Estate at the end of the matter should your circumstances be such that preclude you from proceeding otherwise.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint attorneys to act on your behalf in dealing with your financial affairs should you become incapable of managing matters yourself. We regularly act in this capacity for our clients.
Enduring Guardianship provides for an appointment of a person as an Enduring Guardian to make lifestyle, health and medical decisions for you when you are not capable of doing this for yourself. Your Enduring Guardian may make decisions such as where you live, what services are provided to you at home and what medical treatment you receive. We provide Enduring Guardianship for our clients. Speak to us regarding this service at the time of drafting or updating your Will.
Trusts and Tax Planning
We trust that none of our clients wish for the legal default rules to apply to the way their Estate is distributed after their death.
By planning during your lifetime and setting up a trust, you can often achieve a tax saving and preserve assets, whether for vulnerable beneficiaries, for future generations or otherwise. We can guide you through the options available.
Estate planning is vital if your holdings are complex. We provide expertise in structuring so as to enable the best outcome based on size and complexity of the estate.
Effective estate planning and a Will that reflects your personal circumstances and wishes gives you control over the distribution of your assets and liabilities during your lifetime and thereafter.