Wills, Estates & Probate

Longer-Lasting Support Where It’s Needed Most

Overview

Our extremely professional team of wills, estates & probate lawyers can provide legal advice, support, and compassion through what can be a difficult and challenging time.

We will always ensure you get the best possible outcome.

The Details

Wills & Estates

A will is the best way to make sure that your hard-won assets benefit the people you love after your death. Without a will, your property may be distributed against your wishes, and the process may be costly and time consuming.

Wills can be simple or more complex depending on your circumstances. If you and your partner are part of a blended family, you may need extra advice to make sure your money is distributed correctly. Our experienced lawyers can give you advice on testamentary trusts, mutual wills, and other instruments.

Estate planning goes beyond a will. It might also include establishing a trust so that your money is spent the way you want it to, or is protected from certain circumstances. You also need a binding nomination for your superannuation to ensure that they pass in line with your estate.

While making arrangements for the end of your life isn’t pleasant to contemplate, it can help your loved ones to support you and protect you if the need arises. Documents that can assist include:

  • A power of attorney (POA) to allow your chosen attorney to deal with your finances and other assets for a set amount of time or an ongoing basis. An enduring POA operates after you have lost mental capacity.
  • An Enduring Guardianship document, which allows your guardian to make medical and lifestyle decisions for you if you lose mental capacity.
  • An Advanced Health Care Directive, which sets out your wishes for medical treatment if you become unable to communicate your decisions.

Contesting a Will

If you think that you have been unfairly left out of a will, we can help. It’s important that you seek advice early, as you only have 12 months from the death of the person to contest their will.

Some of the grounds on which you can challenge must be made before probate is completed.

Contesting a will requires compelling evidence. It also requires that you are an ‘eligible person’ under the Succession Act 2006. We will help you understand the merits of your claim and what evidence you will need.

Defending a Will

If you’re the next of kin, or an executor of a will, and someone indicates that they will dispute the will, you need legal advice.

We are experienced in offering legal counsel to those who might need to defend a will, as well as offering compassion and support at this emotional time.

Succession Planning

Whether you’re an individual, family, or a business, succession planning is vital.

Proper succession planning will ensure that the hard work of your lifetime is preserved. If you have a business, it will also ensure that it is carried on after your death.

Having proper documentation in place will help create a seamless transition from one generation to the next. It can also offer peace of mind in the event that something happens unexpectedly. While a will is part of this process for individuals, succession planning requires that you look at taxation issues and risk management as a whole.

Our expert lawyers draw on the diversity of skills across our team, including our financial and accounting advisors, to ensure that your assets are protected. This means looking at your business structures to check that they protect your assets against the risks of liability, divorce, or bankruptcy. In conjunction with accounting and tax experts, we will advise you on the taxation implications of passing down your assets and offer ways to minimise this. 

If you own a business, it is vital that you have documentation in place in case you want to retire or are unable to carry on managing it. This might include a power of attorney so that someone you trust can make business decisions on your behalf. It might also include documenting the various levels of responsibility held by others in your business, and specifying what authority they have in your absence.

We will bring our many years of expertise to bear on these issues, and other questions you may have, so that you can make the right decisions for your situation. By understanding your business and goals, and helping you to put the right documentation in place, our legal team can help you secure your legacy.

Our services include:

  • Advising and reviewing business structures and terms.
  • Drafting or reviewing shareholders agreements.
  • Drafting documentation to determine what happens to your business if you retire.
  • Business transition agreements.
  • Testamentary trusts.
  • Advising on, and setting up, self-managed superannuation funds.
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