Wills, Estates & Probate

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Wills, Estates and Probate

Do you have a valid Will?

A will is a legal document which tells the court how you want your property to be distributed when you pass away.

Having a will is extremely important.  The process of drafting a will can be simple and inexpensive and a properly drafted will greatly assists in the easy administration of your estate and the smooth distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries.

If you care about what happens after you die, then it is very important to that you have a will and to keep it up to date. It is critical if you have young children that have a will.

If you don’t have a will, your estate and property might be administered by someone that you wouldn’t have chosen to look after your affairs.  Your assets may go to someone, people or entities that you didn’t really want to give it to. The implications for your loved ones can be complex and distressing.  Imagine if you have left everything to someone who died years before you did? How confusing would that make things for those left after you die?

If you have young children, you can appoint a guardian to look after them, especially if  both parents die.

Update your will while you are well and healthy. Don’t leave it until you don’t have the mental capacity because it might be not be valid and might be challenged and set aside.

When do you need to update your will?

You should review your will regularly because it might be that your circumstances have changed and your will might no longer suit your circumstances.

  • If you get married, separate or divorce
  • If you enter into or end a de facto relationship
  • When you have children (indluding adoptive or fostered children)
  • If your executor dies or becomes unwilling or unable to act because of age, health, or any other reason
  • If you have specifically left any property in a will which you have since sold, given away or put in trust or into a business
  • If you make significant changes to your financial affairs, such as setting up a family trust, establish a self managed superannuation fund (SMSF), enter a new business venture or retire

Appointing an executor or trustee

At Step Solicitors we will carefully explain the legal responsibilities and obligations attached to the important role of executor and/or trustee.

You have a wide choice of people to chose from which might include your children, a relative or a close friend. You might even wish to appoint your legal representative and we can guide you through your options and explain in plain language what you should expect to happen on your behalf.


Powers of Attorney

What can you do if you can not act for yourself, either temporarily or permanently?

Consider asking us about a Power of Attorney. There are two main types of powers: General and Enduring.  They are different and there are new rules about these important and powerful documents.

Guardianship Appointments

What happens if you loose the capacity to make medical and lifestyle decisions for yourself?

Ask us about an appointment of an enduring guardian.  This type of document gives the guardian special powers and could be very useful, but there are important things you must know first.  Call Step Solicitors.

Wills and Estates Solicitors

Helping you navigate the legal system

Step Solicitors can assist you in any matter including

Home made wills and online kits

You might think that this is a cheaper option, but these services do not give you any professional advice regarding your particular circumstances.

There might be no guarantee that your loved ones have been properly looked after. Get professional advice. We are experienced in drafting wills and the importance of having a professional will can not be understated.

Most people do not realise that a badly drafted will, such as a homemade will kit could be declared invalid, or lead to potential family disputes over your assets.

At Step Solicitors, we can assist in drafting the simplest will or a more complex document depending on your individual requirements.

We can assist you with a range of areas including:

  • Probate
  • Challenging a will(disputed estates)
  • Preparing a will
  • Will drafting costs
  • Preparing a power of attorney
  • Preparing a guardianship document
  • Asset protection

What to do if you are an executor in a will.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a distressing time that is often compounded by the pressure of trying to fulfil your legal duties in seeking probate as executor. Alternatively, you might be uncertain as to actually who is the executor named in the deceased’s will.

Let Step Solicitors help you navigate the legal minefield in obtaining probate.