Do I Need to See a Lawyer to Help with an Estate?
If you’re responsible or know someone who is responsible for an Estate matter or a beneficiary to an Estate, and are unsure what you need to do or where your responsibilities lie, the following five points are usually the most pressing questions that clients have and that we provide help for:
- The first generally is that the client is an Executor of an Estate and there is a need to obtain a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court. In some matters, it will be a legal requirement to obtain a grant of probate for the Executor to call in or sell any assets of the Estate. Preparing these documents can be a little tricky, but our team are experienced in completing these documents on a regular basis, so we are able to approach the Estate in a straight forward manner. We regularly deal with banks, super funds and share brokers so we can move through their processes quickly and with ease. Essentially, we take the all the information and paperwork from someone’s life we organise it, deal with everyone and pass it back to the Executor when everything is finalised. Our goal is to take the headache away and let the Executor focus on their family and loved ones.
- The second reason is that there is no Will. In circumstances where someone has passed away and owns assets but did not leave a Will, a grant of Letters of Administration may need to be obtained. Whilst like a grant of probate, there is additional paper work and documents of evidence that need to be prepared and these applications are reviewed very closely by the Supreme Court. Our team are skilled in these applications and make it a simple experience for our clients.
- The third reason a client may reach out to our office is if they are an Executor and a claim has been made against the estate. This can be an extremely frustrating and daunting situation and it’s understandable that an Executor wouldn’t know what to do in this situation. Our office has a large amount of experience in dealing with disputed Estates and has guided many Executors through this process with positive outcomes for the Estate.
- The fourth reason we are contacted regarding an Estate is if a person has been left out or treated unfairly under a Will. In these circumstances, our team will go through an individual’s situation and provide them with advice about their rights and entitlements. We contact the Executor and work towards reaching an agreement that is fair for all beneficiaries.
- The fifth reason that we are asked to assist with an Estate would be where there is a complex distribution of the Estate. Distributing an Estate can be made complex by having lots of different assets, lots of beneficiaries, beneficiaries receiving different percentages, charitable donations or specific gifts. Working through all those conditions and ensuring that all beneficiaries receive the correct amount can be incredibly stressful. By seeking assistance from a Solicitor, this burden is removed from the Executor and they breathe easy knowing it’s all being taken care of correctly.