What is a will?

It’s a document that sets out how your property is distributed when you die. The purpose of a will is to make sure that the right person gets the right property and there is no dispute. If you don’t have a will then the law says how your property is distributed. This may be different to what you would want or it may be a more expensive way of achieving the same thing.

Even when people take out wills, many people who think they have provided for beneficiaries in the way they intended are unaware of the pitfalls that can arise if a will is not prepared correctly.

What is an estate plan?

A will is often part of an estate plan but an estate plan also looks at other assets that can’t be dealt with in a will. This might include superannuation or a business or a trust. The purpose of an estate plan is to make sure that all of your property no matter how you own it ends up with the right people in a tax effective way.

What is estate administration?

It’s the process of putting a will into effect. It includes obtaining probate, finding assets, transferring or selling them, paying debts and making sure that everything is finalised. Sometimes it’s relatively easy and sometimes it is not. Whether easy or hard it has to be done properly or the executor can be liable or people can miss out on what is rightfully theirs.

We’ve written some articles below about wills, estate planning, estate administration, and some of the issues that arise in these areas.

Estates Services

If you want the safety and security of knowing that your will is going to be effective and distribute your estate according to your intentions, then you should talk to an estates expert.

If you would like to decide how your assets will be divided amongst your family and friends, who will care for your children, or request that your body be disposed of in a particular way, then you should consider making a will.

Estate planning involves the organisation of a person’s legal and financial affairs so that your assets are distributed to your intended beneficiaries in an orderly and tax-effective manner.

Farrar Gesini Dunn specialises in Wills and probate. We appreciate that the probate process is sometimes complex and archaic. We use our knowledge, experience, and systems to make it as easy as possible for you to get through the formal processes and find your new normal.

We understand that dealing with the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult. This loss is heightened when the loved one does not leave a Will or the Will has problems.

A trust is a legal relationship between a trustee who looks after or administers the trust, and a beneficiary, the person who benefits from the trust.

Testamentary trusts are trusts established through a Will. These Wills create a structure that can be incorporated into your Will to give your beneficiaries tax and asset protection benefits in addition their inheritance from you.

Looking for a deceased estates expert to help you after the loss of a loved one?

Will disputes come several different forms. They can be a challenge to the Will by way of a family provision claim, contesting the validity of a Will, or making some other argument arising from promises that may have been made during the lifetime of the deceased person.

You can contest a Will on the basis that you have not been adequately provided for your proper maintenance, education and advancement in life. The exact wording varies from state to state.

If you believe a Will is not valid, then the first thing you should do is to seek information from the executor or the solicitor who made the Will.

FGD can assist executors to defend contested Will claims or challenges to the validity of a Will.

Estate disputes or contesting a will is what happens if someone isn’t happy with what a will says, usually because they say they should have a greater share.

Property that you can distribute by the terms of a Will are referred to as estate assets. If property is not an estate asset then they are not distributable by Will.

At Farrar Gesini Dunn we take innovation seriously. We have been operating for years in a way that has allowed us to work for you wherever we are and whenever you need us to.

Our Estate and Wills Lawyers are here to help.

Get in touch today

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17/12/2021

A New Years’ Resolution – Separating Amicably

The Christmas season is said to be one of the most joyful times of the year, however any good family lawyer will likely report otherwise. With immense pressure on families both socially and financially, it is unsurprising that this season is one of the busiest times of the year for the family law sector. Without wanting to sound like ‘The Grinch who stole Christmas’, the end of year holiday period has proven to be the catalyst of many relationship breakdowns.

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08/12/2021

Time Limits and Family Provision Claims

Those who are considering challenging a will by making a family provision claim need to be aware that time limits apply within which their application must be made.

Each State and Territory has its own legislation governing family provision claims. Some jurisdictions run the time from the date of death while others run the time from the date of the grant of probate or letters of administration.

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16/11/2021

Rising Star in Wills, Estates, and Succession Planning in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory

The Wills and Estates team at Farrar Gesini Dunn is pleased to announce that we have been further recognised in the respected Doyle’s Guide Listing for 2021, and for the first time in the Rising Stars category. Jessica Win is a brilliant young lawyer in our Wills and Estates team….

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12/11/2021

FGD Golf Day 2021

Everyone at FGD was holding their breaths after the excitement of restrictions lifting and the day being able to go ahead. We were all watching the dreary forecast but nevertheless, the showers cleared and the day went ahead…. There were 93 players out on the course who were welcomed by Esther Bogaart (Karinya House Vice President of the Committee) who reminded us of the important work that Karinya House do.

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