Our Lawyers at High Legal Australia focus on understanding our client’s needs, whether it is assisting with the administration of estates, helping clients to achieve their succession wishes, contesting a will or trust or providing advice about guardianship and administration issues for older family members.
We understand that working with families requires compassion, sensitivity and practicality along with an in-depth knowledge of the law.
We can help in a range of areas within this area of law including:
- Estate Planning
- Probate and Estate Administration
- Family Provision Claims
Do you have a plan in place for your estate? Do you need help updating your estate planning?
At High Legal Australia we specialize in providing practical estate planning advice, keeping in mind the opportunity to minimise costs which may be incurred in the future, and making sure your plan is appropriate and as simple as possible.
We can work together with you and your advisors, such as your accountants and financial planners or aged care providers, to create a comprehensive plan and ensure that appropriate documentation is put in place to implement your plan.
Our experienced team can help with:
- Powers of Attorney
- Enduring Guardianship’s
- Testamentary Trusts
- Pension Planning
When the time comes to manage your Estate, High Legal Australia has staff with the practical experience and the knowledge to assist your family.
For many executors, the death of a loved one is hard enough. The responsibility for looking after another’s financial affairs can be daunting. We can relieve some of the stress and pressure.
We have the resources to assist with both simple and complex estate matters.
PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
At High Legal Australia 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.
So, let us 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
- Applying for Probate of the Will in the Supreme Court
- Dealing with intestacy (where there is no Will)
- Applying for Letters of Administration (if the Will is deemed invalid or is absent)
- Identifying estate assets and liabilities
- Obtaining valuations of estate property
- Collecting estate financial assets including superannuation, bank funds, shares, outstanding loans, and insurance payouts
- 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
- Organizing information for estate tax returns
- Family mediation and negotiation
- Contesting wills and defending estate litigation in the Supreme Court
FAMILY PROVISION CLAIMS – UNDER THE SUCCESSION ACT
If you’ve been left out of a Will, or have been unfairly treated in terms of the amount of your inheritance you may be able to make a claim against the estate.
WHO CAN DISPUTE A WILL?
It varies from state to state, but some of the people who may be entitled to claim include people who had a relationship with the deceased such as:
- Wife or husband
- Defacto or same sex partner
- Former spouse or defacto partner
- Child, stepchild or grandchild
- Parent of a child of the deceased
- Parent, brother or sister
- Someone who was financially dependent on the deceased
- Carer of the deceased
This is a very general guide only so please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
IS THERE A TIME LIMIT?
Yes, there is. You have only 12 months from the date of their death to make a claim. In certain circumstances, we might be able to obtain an extension of the time limit so please contact us to discuss your situation.
WHAT IF I DON’T BELIEVE THE WILL WAS VALID?
You can challenge a Will if you believe that the will is a forgery or if the person lacked the mental capacity to make a Will. You can also challenge a Will if you believe that undue influence was brought to bear upon the deceased or if there was fraud involved.
HOW DO I MAKE A CLAIM?
First, contact us at High Legal Australia where we can assess your claim and discuss the particular circumstances of your claim. If it’s worth continuing we will contact the executors and notify them of your claim. We will then gather evidence, prepare documents and make an offer to the executors. Many claims are settled through negotiation at this stage.
If the matter isn’t resolved then we can lodge documents with the court to initiate proceedings. We can still negotiate and in some cases mediation will be required by the court.
Failing all else, we will proceed to a court hearing wherein the evidence will be presented and the judge will make a decision.
WE CAN HELP
At every stage of contesting or challenging a Will it’s important to have sound, experienced legal advice. We have the skills to negotiate on your behalf to avoid costly court fees, but if it comes down to court we also have the skills to fight on your behalf.
For more details and assistance please contact us to discuss this with a member of our specialized team.