An Executor appointed in a Will has the duty and is entrusted to carry out the terms of the Will. Executors have an obligation to administer the Estate of the Deceased. In order to do this, legal documents are required to be filed by the Executor in Court to obtain a grant of Probate. If the Deceased has not left a valid Will then a close relative or friend can apply to the Court for Letters of Administration to administer the deceased’s Estate.
Contesting a Will
Disputes about the validity of a Will or entitlements under the Will can arise in a number of circumstances. It can come from unhappy beneficiaries or people being left out of the Will. If you believe that the deceased person did not have the mental capacity to make the Will or that the Will was not properly executed and it has affected your entitlements, you may be able to contest the validity of the Will and seek to have it set aside.
Family Provisions Act Claim
It sometimes happens that a person who would expect to be a beneficiary under a Will may either not be provided for, or may be inadequately provided for, by the Deceased person in their Will. If you believe that you have been left out of a Will or if you believe you have not been properly provided for in a Will, you may be able to bring a claim known as a Family Provisions Act claim.
No Win No Fee Litigation/Fixed Fees Probate
Probate/Letters of Administration
We are experienced probate lawyers who can provide you with advice on your obligations as Executors of the Will which includes the following:
- Locating the original Will
- Obtaining the original Death Certificate
- Advising the Beneficiaries
- Ascertaining the assets of the Deceased, including property and investments portfolios
- Advising any aged care facility
- Cancelling private health care,
- Advising Centrelink
- Applying for Probate or Letters of Administration
- Distribute the Estate to the beneficiaries
Before administering the Deceased’s Estate, you must apply to the Supreme Court for a grant of Probate of the Will. You must also ensure that all the debts of the Deceased, such as funeral expenses and any other outstanding bills and income tax, are paid.
We will write to all the relevant organisations on your behalf and prepare the documents to be filed with the Court, including the Affidavit of Executor attaching the Inventory of Property of the Deceased.
We are experienced estate litigation lawyers who can provide you with advice on your rights and entitlements under a Will if you believe you have been unfairly dealt with.
The Court can consider a Family Provision Claim and interfere with the Will of the deceased, provided you are an eligible person and the deceased has not made adequate provision for you in the Will.
The Court can also set aside a Will if:
- The deceased did not have the mental capacity to make the Will at the time that they did
- The Will does not meet the formal requirements of the Act
The Court will then consider what provision should be made for you and if successful you will have your legal costs paid from the Estate.
Defending a Will
If you are the Executor of a Will that is being challenged then you need to talk to us and we can advise you on your rights and obligations under the Act.
There are strict time limits in bringing claim under the Succession Act, so don’t delay.
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