Empathetic planning and support

Estate planning and disputes

Our team has extensive experience in wills and estate law as well as in litigation associated with this area of law. We appreciate that discretion and compassion is requisite to this sensitive area of practice with the focus being on practical, empathetic and effective solutions. 

How we can assist you

We will help you every step of the way

Contact Us to find out how we can support you.


Understanding your needs

We ask questions and listen first and foremost in order to ensure that we fully understand your personal, professional and business goals. The outcome you seek to achieve is dependant on your goals. There is very rarely a one size fits all solution.

Our focus is ensuring that we fully appreciate what it is that needs to be achieved and precisely the areas in which our assistance may be required before providing you with strategic and individualised advice.


Ensuring the right fit

Once we understand your goals, ambitions, and desired outcomes we then craft the approach that best fits your circumstances. We then make sure that you are teamed with the right lawyer not only for your matter but also one that can achieve the outcome sought within your budget and time schedules.

Your lawyer needs to not only work for you but with you to keep you focussed on your goals and results. Your lawyer must be someone you trust to act in your best interests at all times even on the rare occasion where you may lose sight of what that may be.


Providing a tailored service

Once we understand fully how we can be of service to you and once we have paired you with your lawyer that is when we turn our attention towards each possible avenue and strategic pathway available to you in order to achieve your results on time and within your budget.

We believe that in order for you to best decide the next steps you need to be fully armed with all of the information, advantages, and disadvantages associated with each possible course of action. A tailored service by necessity requires a fully informed and holistically advised client.


Frequently asked questions

We will provide you with sound advice.

What are the grounds for challenging a will?

A will may be challenged if you were excluded from it, a promise had been made to you and it is not reflected in the will, there is a mistake in the will, it was made when the will maker either did not have capacity or was forced into making the document. Before bringing a challenge it is important to ensure that you as the child, partner or close friend are recognised as having standing to do so. You have only six months from the date of a grant of probate to bring a challenge to a will. It is crucial that you act quickly if you want to challenge a will.

Who covers the legal fees when an estate is challenged?

As a matter of practice the estate bears the legal expenses of all parties to an estate challenge however settlements sometimes provide for each party to meet their own expenses in the dispute. In the event that the executors of an estate believe your legal expenses to be disproportionate or unreasonable then an application for orders for payment of legal fees from the estate needs to be sought.

What can you do if you are excluded from a will?

If this has happened to you and you feel that your exclusion was unwarranted or unfair then you may, depending on your circumstances, be able to bring a Testator’s Family Maintenance Claim otherwise known as a Part IV application for an adjustment to be made from the estate in your favour.

If the executor is not acting as they should be, what can I do?

All beneficiaries have the right to the just and proper administration of an estate by an executor. If you believe the executor is not acting properly then you may be able to apply to Court for the removal of the executor however it is important to bear in mind that you must be able to substantiate your concerns.

Can I change a will based if I am estranged from my parent when they pass away?

You can still challenge the will or apply for provision from the estate however you should remember that each case is assessed on its own merits with factors such a financial dependency, the nature of the relationship and your need for support being considered by the Court. Any siblings with a close relationship with the parent will have a greater entitlement unless there is significant reason undermining that entitlement.

How do I search for lost superannuation?

Where you cannot find records in relation to superannuation then you can make an application to the Australian Taxation Office (“the ATO”) for details in relation to superannuation held in a deceased’s name. You will need to provide the date of birth, previous addresses, employment history and the Tax File Number of the deceased in order for the ATO to conduct searches of their records in relation to superannuation.

What is included in an estate?

All assets and liabilities of a deceased fall within the estate however assets held jointly, insurance entitlements and death benefits are treated differently. Superannuation entitlements are often subject to nomination or trustee discretion. Jointly held assets pass to the other legal owner by way of survivorship.

Do I have to go to court to challenge a will?

Unless all parties agree to vary the terms of the will, yes, Court action needs to be commenced. This being said, most estate disputes settle at mediation. You have only six months from the date of a grant of probate to bring a challenge to a will. It is crucial that you act quickly if you want to challenge a will.

Get in touch

Arrange a strictly confidential discussion about your matter and how we can help you navigate it