Will Dispute & Estate Planning Lawyers Newcastle

Death is one of those certainties in life that, while unpleasant to think about, should be given some thought and planning. Our will dispute lawyers in Newcastle have experience in all aspects of estate planning, probate, and estate administration.

What is a Will and Do I Need a Newcastle Will Lawyer?

A Will is a document in which you outline what you want done with your assets after you die. To be valid, a Will must be in writing and properly witnessed. You will also need to decide who you want to be the executor. The executor is responsible for gathering and distributing your assets in accordance with your instructions. Your beneficiaries are the people nominated in your Will to receive a distribution of your estate.

Retaining a Newcastle will lawyer to draft your Will can help to ensure that your assets and beneficiaries are protected and the most tax-effective distribution of your estate is taken into consideration. Your lawyer may also provide advice about ways to help minimise potential disputes regarding your estate when you die.

Our Newcastle will lawyers recommend reviewing your Will regularly, particularly when your personal and financial circumstances change. Important life events such as marriage, divorce, and the birth of a child; or financial changes like receiving an inheritance or buying a business or property, are milestones that could trigger the need to update your Will and overall estate plan.

What happens when somebody dies without a Will?

Dying without a Will is referred to as dying intestate. In such cases the deceased person’s estate is distributed in accordance with a statutory formula. The rules of intestacy provide for a specific order of distribution to the deceased person’s next of kin, designed to reflect society’s expectations as to who should benefit from the estate. The rules however are inflexible and may not consider the real wishes of the deceased nor his or her unique circumstances.

If you do not have a Will, instead of seeking a grant of probate, your next of kin may need to apply to the Supreme Court for letters of administration which can be a more cumbersome and lengthy process than if a deceased person left a Will.

Preparing a valid Will provides your loved ones with certainty after you die and can help minimise the potential for estate disputes.

Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship documents

While considering your Will, our lawyers recommend that you also put in place plans for any future incapacity to ensure that if you become unable to make decisions about your finances, your medical treatment or living arrangements then somebody who you trust can make these decisions for you.

A power of attorney enables you to appoint somebody (your attorney) to manage certain legal and financial affairs on your behalf. A power of attorney may be used for convenience (for example, while you are overseas) and may specify that your attorney only carry out certain tasks. It can also be limited to a specified period of time, for example, while you are out of the country.

Alternatively, an enduring power of attorney will allow your appointed attorney to make decisions for you indefinitely if you are medically incapable of making these decisions yourself.

An appointment of enduring guardian appoints somebody to make certain health and lifestyle choices on your behalf if you are incapacitated.

Our wills and estate planning lawyers in Newcastle can help you determine the type of documents that are best suited to your needs.

Obtaining Probate

If you have lost a loved one and been named as the executor, you will be responsible for settling that person’s estate. Our probate lawyers can guide you through the administration process to ensure the estate is distributed as seamlessly and efficiently as possible.

You may need a grant of probate. A grant of probate is an order granted by the Supreme Court and gives you the legal right to gather the assets in the estate, settle the estate’s debts, pay the appropriate fees, and distribute the assets to the intended beneficiaries.

Estate Planning Lawyers and Will Disputes

Legal disputes can be stressful and estate disputes are no different. Sometimes these disputes arise because somebody has not been left what they think they deserve or have not been included in someone’s Will. Other times, the dispute arises because somebody thinks that the Will is not real, or there was some pressure on the testator to make certain gifts. Regardless of how a dispute starts, or whether you are a beneficiary or an executor, obtaining the right representation and advice to guide you and protect your interests is essential

Speak to a Newcastle Will & Estate Lawyer today

When we work hard to acquire and build assets and personal wealth it makes sense to invest in sound advice to ensure they are protected. We should also take steps to simplify the management of our financial affairs and predetermine the type of health care we are comfortable with as we age. Our Newcastle estate planning lawyers have years of expertise in this area and can provide tailored advice suited to your circumstances.

If you need assistance, contact one of our lawyers at [email protected] or call (02) 4987 3344 for expert legal advice.