Wills & Estates

Our Wills and Estates team offers comprehensive legal advice in respect of all aspects of wills and estate matters including estate planning, estate administration, estate litigation and guardian & administration matters.

Specifically, our team provides expert advice in relation to:

Estate Planning

We equip our clients with a fundamental understanding of succession planning and work with them to make sure that all aspects of their estates are planned for in the present and future, to ensure that their intentions are carried out in an effective manner. Our experienced Wills and Estates team also works closely with our tax, property, commercial and corporate teams to ensure that our strategies and outcomes are tailored to our clients’ specific needs.

Estate Administration

Administering an estate of loved one can be a daunting and complicated task. We aim to eliminate the stress and delay involved by administering deceased estates in a timely and cost-effective manner so that our clients can move on with their lives.

Estate Litigation

Even the best laid succession plans do not always come to fruition which can result in complex and costly litigation that will delay the administration of an estate. Our Wills and Estates team has invaluable contested estates experience which enables them to provide pragmatic and sensible advice to their clients.

Guardianship & Administration

Finally, for those clients who, are faced with a life without capacity or a family member that has special needs, we work closely with them and their family or carer, to minimise the issues and stress, as well as potential litigation, that may be presented to them.

Expertise

  • Estate administration
  • Preparation of trust deeds
  • Variation of trust deeds
  • Family agreements
  • Probate
  • Trust disputes
  • Charitable trusts
  • Wills
  • Complex trusts
  • Deeds of wishes
  • Superannuation, SMSFs
  • Succession planning
  • Binding death benefit nominations
  • Life insurance
  • Asset protection strategies
  • Family discretionary trusts
  • Ring-fencing assets
  • Management deeds

Examples

Estate Planning:

  • Advising on and implementing effective will structures
  • Structuring of simple, complex and special purpose testamentary trusts
  • Advising on early withdrawal of superannuation benefits
  • Advising on the tax implications for the reorganisation of large property portfolios
  • Advising on strategies to prevent contested wills

Estate Adminstration:

  • Administering simple and complex estates
  • Applying for Grants of Representations
  • Advising beneficiaries regarding their rights under a Will

Estate Litigation:

  • Issuing and defending family provision claims (testator family maintenance claims or part IV claims)
  • Will construction and Will rectification applications (where the terms of the will are uncertain)
  • Applications to have an informal Will admitted to probate
  • Issuing and defending applications for the removal of an executor / administrator
  • Will validity disputes
  • Acting on behalf of litigation guardians in proceedings where a person under a disability is involved
  • Supreme Court proceedings for judicial advice regarding the administration of the estate or the operation of a Will
  • Issuing applications requiring an executor to bring the Will into court

Guardianship & Administration:

  • Contested administration, guardianship and elder law disputes in VCAT
  • Advising on the rights and obligations of a guardian / administrator
  • Advising in relation to enduring power of attorney disputes including misappropriation of funds
  • Advising in relation to the purchase of refundable accommodation bonds and the transition of clients into elder care

Our Expert

Peter Window

Partner, Melbourne

Tony Riordan

Partner, Melbourne

Ian Heathwood

Partner, Brisbane

Michael Kohn

Partner, Melbourne

Ken Davies

Special Counsel, Melbourne

Amanda Snaddon

Senior Lawyer, Melbourne

Oliver LaCaze

SENIOR ASSOCIATE, MELBOURNE

Anita Luland

Associate, Brisbane

Emily Wragge

Associate, Melbourne