The loss of a loved one is a difficult and traumatic time. It can be a time of distress, uncertainty and anxiety.
Determining what happens in respect of the estate (or property) of the one who has passed is one of the concerns that would bear down upon you during this time.
You may have questions such as:-
- How do I recover superannuation, life insurance or monies held in trust?
- The superannuation company has requested probate, what do I do?
- The bank has told me that a small estates declaration is appropriate, what does this mean?
- My loved one had a will and an executor named in the will however that executor has now passed away, what do I do?
- My loved one passed without making a will, how do I administer the estate? Does it all go to the Government? What happens?
Joseph O’Hare has had considerable experience in undertaking estates including administration of estates without probate, administration of estates with probate, letters of administration with will and letters of administration without will. He is able to ensure that the administration occurs in the appropriate jurisdiction having regard to the assets of the estate and is able to ensure that the most effective and cost efficient process is undertaken to ensure that the cost to the estate is minimized.
Further, should the deceased have undertaken a “homemade” will, Mr O’Hare has the expertise and experience to ensure that it is properly assessed, a determination of the deceased’s intention is undertaken and that the administration and distribution is made in accordance with that intention.
Of course should difficulties arise and person or person make a claim under the family maintenance provisions of the Succession Act1981 (as amended), Mr O’Hare has the capacity and expertise to ensure that the appropriate advice is provided, the best and most cost efficient process is conducted to ensure that the impact to the estate is minimized and if a claimant has an entitlement, then that entitlement is determined at an early stage with a cost efficient resolution.
An example of how the Court assesses an application pursuant to section 41 of the Succession Act 1981 (as amended) (“the Act”) is contained within a recent case Horwood v Ah Shay  QDC 199 in the Brisbane District Court. The Court firstly had regard to the provisions in the will and the parties to whom bequests were made. The Court is then provided particulars as to the assets of the estate and the total value of the estate after deduction of debts (being the net value). The Court also have regard to the level of costs that will be incurred and the obligation upon the representatives to provide an estimate of costs incurred to date and what will be incurred at trial.
Should the requirements of section 41 of the Act apply, then a determination is made as to whether any existing provision is inadequate having regard to the financial position, size and nature of the estate, the relationship between the person making the application and the deceased and the relationship between any other persons making a claim. Then an assessment as to what is the proper level of maintenance and what is an adequate provision. The Court then has regard again to the financial circumstances of the person making the claim and the financial resources of the remaining beneficiaries and of the executor in making the final assessment of the claim.
Of course there is a difference in the entitlement of a person who was continually dependent upon the deceased, for example an infant child or a spouse as opposed to a person who was not so dependant, for example an adult child who is self-supportive.
The Court also has regard to any maintenance payments or costs that were incurred by the applicant to the deceased whilst the deceased was alive, and further contributions made for the preservation and maintenance of the assets of the estate if applicable.
Armed with this expertise, Joseph O’Hare is able to assist you in respect of any claim you may have.