Wills, probate & estate planning

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Estate Planning Canberra and NSW

Do you need a Will?

YES - everyone needs a will so that they can be confident that, following their death, their assets will be passed onto their intended beneficiaries and steps can be taken to avoid family disputes.

How can we help?

At KJB Law we:
  • assess your requirements based on your wishes, your family situation and your assets and possessions;
  • discuss with you the appointment of an appropriate executor;
  • advise of any problematic issues that may arise and how these can be either addressed or avoided;
  • recommend the type of Will required to meet your particular circumstances;
  • ensure your Will is prepared, signed and witnessed in accordance with all legal requirements;
  • provide safe custody for your Will and any other security documents to be held on your behalf;
  • review your Will with you periodically, or upon the happening of a significant event, to ensure that it is up to date and adequate to meet your current circumstances;
  • discuss with you which of your assets may not fall into your Estate and the steps that need to be taken to ensure those assets are received by your beneficiaries of choice.

Probate and Estate Administration

In times of bereavement it is often distressing for members of the deceased’s family and/or executors of their Will to address the issues surrounding the wishes of the deceased. We offer professional guidance and advice in these difficult times and will assist the relevant representative of the estate in dealing with the deceased’s assets and personal effects, whether it is a small or extremely large Estate. 

Enduring Powers of Attorney / Substitute Decision Making

Wills deal with your directions and wishes after your death - powers of attorney operate prior to your death and allow your Attorney to make decisions on your behalf in the event of certain circumstances. At KJB Law we can help you by:
  • Discussing with you the necessity of having a Power of Attorney, particularly while you have the legal capacity to do so;
  • Determining your requirements in respect of your financial situation, your health and life decisions;
  • Assisting you with the selection of appropriate attorney/s and advising you of the legal responsibilities of appointed attorney/s.

Guardianship / Substitute Decision Making

In the event than an adult loses their legal capacity to make their own decisions due to an accident, illness, injury, mental illness or age related illness, a guardian may be appointed as a substitute decision make and/or a manager to make such decisions. This can include financial, lifestyle and health related decisions and is similar to the powers given under an Enduring Power of Attorney. 

However, because of their legal disability it is not possible for such a person to appoint an attorney themselves because they cannot understand the nature and consequences of what they are doing. As such the appointment of a substitute decision maker and/or manager is a legal process made in accordance with the principals set out in Section 5 of the Guardianship and Management of Property Act 1991

If you have concerns regarding a close relative or friend who appears to have such a legal disability, we can offer assistance in advising you of the procedures required for the appointment of a guardian.

Claims Against Wills and Estates

A willmaker is entitled to give away his/her assets on his/her death to such beneficiaries as he/she wishes. An executor or administrator is bound by law to distribute the assets of the deceased in accordance with the Will or in the event of Intestacy (no Will) the applicable State Law.

It is becoming more frequent however that claims against deceased estates are being made by persons who believe that they have been overlooked or inadequately provided for from the assets of the deceased. Contested Will disputes are complex issues and stressful to family members of the deceased. Often claims can be negotiated without the necessity of a Court hearing but these negotiations may still involve a Court process.

At KJB Law we can help you by:

  • Acting as a representative of the Estate of the Deceased OR on behalf of a potential claimant;
  • Establishing the eligibility of the claimant;
  • Advising the potential for success of a contested claim;
  • Instituting appropriate proceedings, if warranted;
  • Negotiating a suitable resolution of the matter.
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