Planning for your family’s future after you are gone is a really important legal task. Many people do not have a Will or the one they have is out of date. This can lead to many problems. You need a properly drawn Will so you decide what will become of your estate upon your death.
Wills can be invalidated by marriage or divorce and affected by other significant life events.
If you take the time now to make an effective legally binding Will you can save your family not only stress but money in what will undoubtedly be a difficult time for them.
We have assisted many executors to obtain probate of wills and then in the administration of the estate.
At Blackman Legal we understand that dealing with a deceased estate is one of the more difficult challenges in life. From mountains of paper work to legal jargon and simmering family disputes, they’re the last things you want to deal with when you’re grieving the loss of someone important in your life.
If you are an executor of a Will or a principal beneficiary in an estate we can help you by:
- Interpreting the Will of the deceased in terms of estate laws
- Advising executors and trustees in regard to their duties and rights
- Informing government bodies including Centrelink and Veterans Affairs
- Lodging the appropriate documentation in the Supreme Court to obtain a grant of probate
- Dealing with intestacy (where there is no Will)
- Applying for Letters of Administration (if the Will is deemed invalid or is absent)
- Taking all the steps necessary to collect the assets and identify their value
- Collecting estate financial assets including superannuation, bank funds and shares
- Selling or transferring estate property including estate auctions
- Paying estate debts including mortgages, funeral costs, and testamentary expenses
- Advising in regard to family and testamentary trusts
- Administering trust funds
- Distributing bequests and inheritances to beneficiaries
- Organising information for estate tax returns
We ensure that you comply with all your obligations in a timely manner. At times Wills are problematic. We give practical advice and take any preliminary steps necessary to check that the Will can be relied upon. We are able to administer estates for beneficiaries overseas and for minor beneficiaries. We may need to advise you if someone makes a claim against the Will and assist you to uphold the wishes of the Testator.
At Blackman Legal we have extensive experience in the drafting of WIlls and can help:
- Advise you on issues to consider and matters to think about before your Will is prepared such as choice of executor and alternative beneficiaries
- Explain to you what assets can be covered by the Will and what assets are not (such as joint assets and superannuation)
- Draw your attention to the beneficiaries you ought to include in order to avoid a claim against the estate after your death. Blended families give rise to special considerations. You may wish to benefit a charity. You may also require special provisions to ensure the protection of assets for the benefit of a person with a disability, a spendthrift or someone in a difficult personal relationship
- Advise you in regard to estate and Probate laws
- Write a will that maximises the inheritance for your family
- Set up family and testamentary trusts
- Minimise the chance that your will is contested and subject to litigation
- Advise in regard to estate tax (including capital gains) and financial concerns
- Safely store your will and other important legal documents
We can also give you honest and practical advice in relation to the Wills of others. If you feel you have beenwrongly left out of someone’s will we can act on your behalf by making a claim under the Family Provisions legislation. Such claims are often successfully negotiated. Other claims may require mediation or litigation.
At the same time as considering your Will we strongly recommend that you also put in place plans for any future incapacity through Power of Attorney and Guardianship documents. This will ensure that if you somehow become unable to make decisions about your finances, your medical treatment or living arrangements then the person or persons who you trust to make these decisions can do so unhindered.