The passing of a loved one is a distressing time. Having to workout what happens after the passing of a loved one can be just as distressing. But it does not need to be.
We can assist with clear and easy to understand advice to guide you through the process. The process will depend on the circumstances of each person however they will start with locating the will, organising the funeral and getting advice from a Lawyer. Once instructed we will work through what is required in the will (the testators intentions) and what is the most effective and cost efficient way to have the deceased person assets(the Estate) distributed to the persons named in the will. Call Joe O’Hare on 3266 8999.
- Our Services include;
- Drawing wills and testamentary trusts
- Handling the process of the distribution of the deceased assets to the persons named in the will
Family Maintenance Provision Actions
- Contesting or Disputing Wills
- Administration of Estates
- Preparation of Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Advice as to Advance Health Directive
- Court Applications to approve or contest a will or a part of a will
- Claims against estates and estate litigation
Probate and letters of Administration with or without a will
We can assist you in making a Will, organising a Enduring Power of Attorney and administering or disputing an estate.
Should you not have a properly drawn will in place then your assets could be distributed contrary to the way in which you intended.
If you have ever wondered what a will is it is a legal document which should identify how your “estate” (your assets and your liabilities-everything you own) will be distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. Your will should include all your assets and property including your house, land, car, shares, bank accounts, Superannuation life policies and other property.
As your will is such an important document if it is not prepared correctly then you run the risk of the estate not being distributed as you intended which can then result in your will being invalid, extra cost and possibly Court battles between relatives.
We at OHARE LAW can make sure that:
The terms of your will accurately reflect your intentions and your estate is distributed according to your wishes after you pass away
That you have accounted for your children and their future and wellbeing
That you have appointed a appropriate executor/Executrix and guardian to ensure that the carrying out of your will is hassle free
That you are aware of the requirements of the Succession Act to ensure the legal requirements are met and any possible claims against your estate are minimised
If needed any funeral arrangements are covered
We also recommend that you review your will regularly, particularly if your circumstances change such as upon death or incapacity of beneficiaries or executors, your marriage or divorce, the birth of further children or the change of a asset which is specifically mentioned in the will.
Enduring Powers of Attorney and Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney gives another person power to make decisions on your behalf and to handle your affairs both financial and/or health. An enduring power of Attorney applies if you have lost capacity.
If you are suffering from health issues or are out of the Country often then the preparation of a Power of Attorney can be undertaken to ensure that if you are unable to handle your own personal affairs then your appointed Attorney can assist you. Should you lose capacity and not have a current enduring power of Attorney then a government department will handle your affairs at a cost or unless your relatives or partner applies to the Court for Orders which will be costly.
The Attorney you appoint must be someone you trust will handle your affairs as you intended. We can assist you as to who you should appoint and offer guidance to give you some piece of mind.
To ensure your intentions and wishes are clear we will ensure:
You choose the most appropriate attorney and attornies
The powers given to the Attorney will be appropriate for your circumstances and ensure should you lose capacity your affairs will be looked after by that attorney
Your Enduring Power of Attorney does need to be reviewed from time to time as circumstances change and which may revoke your document such as on Bankruptcy of your attorney, your attorney becoming a paid carer and other events which we can detail for you.
Advance Health Directives
An Advanced Health Directive provides your intentions as to various medical procedures life support and your future health care should you lose the capacity to make those decisions. It only operates during any period of loss of capacity.
It can include instructions to withdraw medical treatment designed to prolong life but does not extend to euthanasia.
Probate/Letters of Administration
Probate is a process whereby the Supreme Court approves a will as being valid and complying with the law.
When you are named as an executor/ executrix in a will, you are obliged to ensure the terms of the will are carried out. This means that you have to distribute the property of the deceased person in accordance with their will.
Probate may not be required on all occasions and it will depend on the nature of the estate and the type of the assets held by the deceased. There are some organisations that hold the deceased’s assets that will not release those assets without your obtaining a grant of probate.
In circumstances when a named executor in the will has passed away or the deceased did not have a will then it may be necessary to apply to the Supreme Court for what is called Letters of Administration. This process appoints a administrator to distribute the estate of the deceased.
We can advise you as to what process is required probate or letters of Administration and can undertake the process required.
Distribution of Estate and Administration
Normally the estate of a deceased person is distributed pursuant to their will. In some circumstances the terms of the will are overridden by the requirements of the Family Maintenance provisions of the Succession Act( this is a piece of legislation that governs the administration of deceased estates).
Should you think you have a claim in the estate of a relative spouse or dependant then we can assist you in making a claim.
Should the deceased person pass away without a will then the Laws of Intestacy will apply. These rules are set out in the Succession Laws of Queensland. We have a thorough knowledge of these laws and are able to efficiently and effectively advise you and ensure the most cost effective process is undertaken.
Defacto relationships can be recognised.
Prior to taking any steps in relation to the estate of your relative spouse or dependant give us a call so we can guide you through the process. We will ensure the correct procedure is applied and ensure your rightfull entitlements under the succession laws is received.
The executor/Administrator has the responsibility to carry out the terms of the will or distribute the estate pursuant to the laws of Intestacy. These duties include taking control of estate property and then transferring it to beneficiaries, ensuring that the estate pays the appropriate tax and lodges tax returns if required, notification of death to applicable organisations and ensuring that all debt is paid out. There are notices that can be placed in the paper to ensure the executor has notified the community of the estate administration and to relieve the executor of liability in some circumstances.
A disputes may arise as a result of the will itself namely that it does not comply with the succession laws of Queensland or that a relative spouse or dependant has not received proper provision under the will which is adequate for their maintenance and support. The Succession laws provide the basis for these claims and certain requirements must be met to enable a claim to be successful.
Strict time limits apply to these types of claims and it is critical to obtain legal advice at the earliest time as to your rights to ensure that you do not lose your rights.
We at OHARE LAW understand that when you lose a loved one you may be overcome with grief and it will be a stressful, difficult time for you to overcome. We can assist you through the estate process to ensure that any change is undertaken effectively and the utmost care.
Being a small firm we have the advantage of being able to finalise a probate/Letters of Administration or an estate administration effectively on a time and cost basis. We can also offer you a fixed fee for probates. Simply ask us how when you contact our office.
Our staff are available to make a time for you to attend our office so that we can assist you in finalising any of the above requirements that you may have. Simply click here to speak to one of our friendly staff members.