We offer advice and assistance with will preparation, Powers of Attorneys, Estate Administration for Executors and Contesting Wills.
We can assist you with:
- drafting & updating wills
- estate planning
- applying for probate
- deceased estate claims / defending deceased estates
- deceased estate administration
- letters of administration
- estate litigation in the Supreme or District Court
Wills and Powers of Attorney
Wills are not something people like to think about, but it is one of the most important documents you can make.
Having a Will drafted means that you decide how your assets are distributed after you pass away, rather than have the Government decide for you under intestacy laws. It also means you can choose who to appoint as Executor (the person who distributes your assets in accordance with your Will). They can then deal directly with your bank or other companies to obtain your assets for distribution, without having to apply for Letters of Administration from the Supreme Court.
You can also specify in your Will:
- Who to appoint as guardians of your children under 18
- How you would like to provide for your family and children
The Succession Act 1981 (Qld) contains complex legal provisions regarding the latter, which may be further complicated if there are marital separations, de-facto relationships or stepchildren involved. We can advise you on these issues, and to draft your will not only to be legally valid, but to take all this into account to minimise the risk of your Will being challenged in Court. We can also advise your Executor on the distribution of your assets.
Powers of Attorney – consider what might happen if one day you become too ill to make or communicate your choices regarding health or financial matters. An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document to give someone else the power to make personal or financial decisions on your behalf. The Attorney’s decisions will have the same legal force as if you had made them, so you should choose your Attorney wisely.
We can help you draft the Power of Attorney, so you can decide and set down before time to whom you entrust the responsibility of these important decisions. We strongly recommend that you have a Will and EPOA drafted and kept up to date, both for your peace of mind and to ensure that everything is dealt with smoothly and with minimum fuss.
Estate planning is about choosing to pass on your assets to the next generation the way you want. It can involve more than just making a will. Some issues that might not be adequately covered by a simple Will:
- How will your company or business be managed?
- What will happen to your superannuation?
We can advise you on these and other estate planning issues.
Estate Administration – including Probate and Letters of Administration
At Lake Law we understand that dealing with a deceased estate is one of the most difficult challenges in life. We can help you by:
- Interpreting the Will in terms of estate laws
- Dealing with 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), including applying for Letters of Administration
- Advising in regard to family and testamentary trusts
- Assisting with estate administration, including gathering in assets, paying out estate debts, and making distributions to beneficiaries
Under the Succession Act 1981 (Qld), a person’s child or spouse can challenge a Will by filing a family provision claim. We can help you with:
- Family mediation and negotiations if there are issues or problems
- Contesting Wills that are unfair
- Advising executors and trustees in regard to their duties and rights and in estate disputes