Wills, Estates & Probates

At Wollongong Legal, our lawyers can provide you with the following services:

We can help ensure your wishes are carried out

Our experienced lawyers can help draft a will to give proper legal effect to your intentions in a will. This is particularly important where you have family or loved ones that you wish to provide for. We will aim to make the process of drafting your intentions efficient and clear, and ensure that your will is accurate and valid will. We can advise you on how to make adequate provision to your chosen beneficiaries. You may consider getting a new will or changing your old will when circumstances change such as getting married, separated, or when you have children.

Providing advice on the administration of estates and trustee services

We can advise you on choosing an executor and trustee and help you better understand what are the rights and roles of trustees, executors and beneficiaries.

Can you claim a benefit under a will where you haven’t been provided for?

If you believe you haven’t been provided for, we can offer advice and representation in contesting a will. There are several ways in which a person can contest a will including:

  • It is alleged the will incorrectly executed or tampered with,
  • The will was executed under pressure or the deceased was incapable of making a will
  • Insufficient provision has been made for a spouse, domestic partner, children or others to whom the willmaker has an obligation,
  • The will has been incorrectly administered.

You must fit into one of the ‘eligible person’ categories under the Family Provisions Act 1982 (NSW).

An applicant contesting a will may receive a Family Provision order in favour of their application if the court decides that:

(a)  the applicant is an eligible person

(b) adequate provision for the proper maintenance, education and advancement in life of the applicant has not been made by the deceased person, and

(c) there are sufficient funds in the estate or notional estate to provide for the applicant after considering the needs of beneficiaries named in the will.

Typically claims should be made within 18 months of the date of the deceased’s death.

What happens when there is no will?

The Supreme Court has the power to appoint an administrator and grant letters of administration where there is no valid will. The Succession Act 2006 provides a formula for calculating what proportion of your assets your family members will receive. However, only ‘eligible persons’ will receive a benefit and it is the administrator’s duty to establish who are the family of the deceased. Usually, where your spouse survives you, they will inherit the whole of your estate. However, if you have children from another relationship then your estate will be divided between your spouse and children.

Avoid this complicated, messy situation by making an appointment with one of our experienced lawyers today on (02) 4225 8611

 

Useful links:

http://www.lawsociety.com.au/resources/areasoflaw/ElderLaw/WillsestatesFAQs/index.htm

http://www.supremecourt.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/supremecourt/sco2_probate.html

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