What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document which specifies how a person’s estate is to be distributed once they have passed away.
Do I need a Will?
Everyone should have a Will but this is particularly important if you want to specify who is to receive your assets, or have a business, or sizeable assets. Without a Will your estate may be distributed to people you do not wish to provide for, or can be left in uncertainty which could result in it taking substantially longer for your affairs to be dealt with which may in turn affect your business.
Having a valid Will can make life easier on your loved ones. Indeed, without a valid Will the process of dealing with your affairs will, almost certainly, be more stressful, costly and time consuming.
Hale Legal’s services in this area include:
- Testamentary Trusts
- Estate Planning
- Grants of Probate & Letters of Administration
- Inheritance Claims
- Powers of Attorney
- Powers of Guardianship
- Advance Health Directives
- Tax Issues
What are the likely costs?
Hale Legal is more than happy to assist you to plan your estate and/or prepare a Will so please feel free to contact us.
We have an estate planning guide which provides very helpful information in relation to estate planning and also sets out indicative legal fees.
With a professional, experienced and considerate approach, the legal side of wills and estates can become a reassuring, rather than stressful, experience. Hale Legal helps families and individuals deal with challenging legal and personal issues that may call for immediate attention.
Our experienced lawyers can provide advice, documentation and representation ranging from drafting a simple will, through to challenging the administration of a complex estate. Hale Legal understands that these circumstances can be difficult and challenging, and we are conscious of this and the need to provide personalised and tailored solutions for our clients.
When disputes or issues occur the best interests of our clients are maintained, aiming to resolve problems as quickly as possible. In these circumstances, Hale Legal maintains a focus on client outcomes, taking a sensible approach to disputes and the strains on family relationships.
Contesting or challenging an estate under the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA)
Regardless of whether you have a valid Will, the following persons have the ability to apply to the Supreme Court of Western Australia under the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA) for a provision to be made for them out of your estate if they have not been adequately provided for:
- a person who was married to, or living as the de facto partner of, the deceased person immediately before the death of the deceased person;
- a person who, at the date of the death of the deceased, was receiving or entitled to receive maintenance from the deceased as a former spouse or former de facto partner of the deceased whether pursuant to an order of any court, or to an agreement or otherwise;
- a child of the deceased living at the date of the death of the deceased, or born within 10 months after the deceased’s death;
- a grandchild of the deceased —
- who was being maintained wholly or partly by the deceased immediately before the deceased’s death; or
- who, at the date of the deceased’s death, was living and one of whose parents was a child of the deceased who had predeceased the deceased; or
- who was born within 10 months after the deceased’s death and one of whose parents was a child of the deceased who had predeceased the deceased;
- a stepchild of the deceased who was being maintained wholly or partly or was entitled to be maintained wholly or partly by the deceased immediately before the deceased’s death;
- a stepchild of the deceased, if —
- the deceased received or was entitled to receive property from the estate of a parent of the stepchild, otherwise than as a creditor of that estate; and
- the value of that property, at the time of the parent’s death, is greater than the prescribed amount;
- a parent of the deceased, whether the relationship is determined through a legal marriage or otherwise, where the relationship was admitted by the deceased being of full age or established in the lifetime of the deceased.
Hale Legal has considerable experience in dealing with claims under the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA) and are happy to assist you. An application to contest or challenge an estate under the Family Provision Act must be brought within 6 months from the date on which the executor or the administrator becomes entitled to administer the estate of the deceased in Western Australia unless the Court grants leave to bring the application out of time.
In light of this, it is important to act promptly and this is especially so because an application to defend or make a claim under the Family Provision Act takes time to prepare.
Contesting or challenging an estate generally
If you are contesting or challenging the validity of a Will on a basis other than the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA) you ought obtain legal advice urgently as undue delay often causes complications. Our office is experienced in these matters and is more than happy to assist you.