Approximately 40% of Australians die without any will or estate planning in place. Taylor & Scott are experienced Wills and Estate Lawyers who deal with many areas surrounding Wills and Estates, including:
- Wills and Estate Planning
- Enduring Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardian
- Dealing with deceased Estates (Probate or Letters of Administration)
- Disputed Will or Contested Estates
These frequently asked questions should give you an overview of wills, estates, and family law.
Do I need a will?
Though a will is not mandatory, without one, your belongings may be distributed in a manner and to people that you may not have chosen yourself.
Should I get a Lawyer to assist in preparing my will?
DIY Will Kits can sometimes be sufficient, but to avoid any potential mistakes while writing your will, as well as any challenges that may occur once your will and the estate is distributed, plus receiving quality advice on various relating matters such as power of attorney, it’s advised to draw help from an experienced Solicitor.
At Taylor & Scott, we can help advise on your estate planning needs and arrange the necessary signatures and certificates when it comes to how a power of attorney, or appointment of an enduring guardian can assist in organising financial and personal affairs, should you lose the ability to manage these yourself.
How often should I update my will?
- When there have been changes to your asset pool or the nature of your assets
- When a guardian, beneficiary, or executor is now deceased
- At significant changes to your financial situation
- When there are changes in your family structure (marriage, divorce, children, blended families, etc.)
- When you go through lifestyle changes, e.g. retirement
- If you enter into a business arrangement that may affect your financial situation
Why would my will be challenged or contested?
During the distribution of an Estate, beneficiaries may become disunited, feeling under-recognised or unfairly treated, and challenge the will based on this. A will may be contested if beneficiaries believe the will was left with a skewed distribution of assets, or that he or she was not of sound mind to write a proper will. Sometimes two wills may be presented, proving different distribution of assets.
How do I go about challenging or contesting a will?
To file an application to the court for a portion or more substantial portion of the deceased’s estate in NSW, you must be a:
- Spouse or former spouse of the deceased (including De Facto Partners)
- Child of the deceased (including adopted children and step-children)
- Grandchild of the deceased
- The person who was dependent (wholly or partly) on the deceased as a member of the household
- The person who was a member of the deceased’s family
- The person who was living in a close personal relationship with the deceased at the time of death
One must also show some form of dependency on the deceased and meet various criteria.
To challenge or contest a Will or Estate, you should seek help from an experienced Lawyer, and provide them with various background information to assess the case, including details on your relationship with the deceased, your dependency, and your circumstances, though you may be required to provide further documentation.
At Taylor & Scott, your consultation and case assessment will clarify your situation and inform you of your chances of a successful will dispute outcome. We’ll help you in preparing the necessary documentation to establish your entitlement. Within 6 to 12 months, mediation between legal teams can be held, where many cases are settled without needing to go to court. Unsuccessful mediation parties will be listed for a court hearing where a final decision will be made.
For more information on wills and estates, please call 1800 600 664, or click here to fill in our contact form.
At Taylor & Scott, We Care For You.