Wills, Probate & Estates

Our Wills, Probate and Estates Department has extensive experience in:

  • Drafting Wills and developing succession plans. This can include drafting testamentary trusts and or advice about superannuation.
  • Applying for simple grants of Letters of Administration or Probate.
  • The administration of Estates or Trusts;
  • Claims against estates, including disputes about the validity of a Will or claims under the Inheritance Act.
  • Claims against trusts or trustees
  • Powers of Attorneys.

Please note that all clients will need to:

  • attend this office at some stage; and
  • provide us with photographic ID.

Frequently Asked Questions

01
How can I avoid a claim against my Estate?

There a various steps that can be taken to limit the likelihood of a claim being made against your Estate, including but not limited to:

  1. Leaving adequate provision to potential claimants under the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA); and/or
  2. By limiting what will form part of your Estate for example, by:
    1. holding property as joint tenants
    2. using inter vivos trusts
    3. making binding nominations in respect of superannuation funds.

02
How can I ensure that the affairs of a vulnerable relative are being properly dealt with?

Our advice may differ depending upon the unique circumstances of each case. Please contact our experienced Wills, Probate & Estates practitioners to discuss your query further. 

03
What do I do when someone I know dies?

The passing of a family member or friend is never an easy time. This can be complicated by not knowing what steps to take towards wrapping up the financial and testamentary affairs of the deceased.

Our experienced Wills, Probate & Estates practitioners are available to assist you at this difficult time and guide you through the various processes which you may be required to undertake.

At the outset, amongst other matters, it will be necessary to determine whether the deceased left a Will and, if so, who is the Executor of the Will.

Sometimes this information won’t be known until after the funeral.  In the ordinary course, after the deceased’s bank has been advised of their passing, the bank will usually freeze the deceased’s accounts with the exception of the payment of funeral invoices (or reimbursement of the persons who paid those invoices).

If there is a Will, the Executor will need to determine (a) if they want to act and (b) if so, whether a Grant of Probate is required.

 If:

  1.   the Executor has predeceased the deceased; or
  2.   the Executor is unwilling to act (subject to any alternates named); or
  3.   there is no Will, 

it will be necessary to determine who will become the Administrator (or Administrators) of the Estate.

Generally speaking, the person(s) who are to receive the majority of the Estate are usually most entitled to become Administrator(s).

Further, if there is no Will, the Estate (subject to any Family Provision Act claims) will be distributed pursuant to the table at Section 14 of the Administration Act 1903 (WA).

04
How can I find out if I am a beneficiary named in a Will? How can I get information about the administration of someone’s Estate?

In general terms, the first step is usually to conduct a Probate search at the Probate Office.  Depending upon the outcome of your search, it may thereafter be appropriate to contact the Executor/Administrator of the deceased’s Estate. Our experienced Wills, Probate & Estates can assist you with this process. 

05
Can I challenge a Will?

Wills can be challenged in two main ways - challenges to the validity of a Will or challenges to the terms of a Will

The validity of a Will can be challenged on various grounds, the commonest of which are where the Willmaker allegedly lacked "testamentary capacity" or were subject to "undue influence" at the time the Will was made.

Where the validity of a Will is not in question the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA) allows persons who fall within specific categories to challenge the terms of a Will by making claims for provision or further provision from an Estate.  These categories include spouses (including de facto spouses), children of the deceased and, in some circumstances, grandchildren and stepchildren.

In such claims, the Court considers a wide variety of matters.  The most important ones are generally the size of the Estate and the financial positions of the various parties.

We would be pleased to provide you with advice as to a potential claim that you may have.

For further information in the area of Wills, Probate & Estates, contact our experienced team on (08) 9289 9888.

"Maree, you have been a shining star to me this year and really helped me when I was down. The empathy and compassion given coupled with the legal proficiency made all the difference. Sometimes a client just wants to be heard."

— Client of Maree van der Kwast (Wills, Probate & Estates)

"Daniel, thank you doesn’t come close to what you have done for my family throughout this case. Thank you for your advice. You made me see the situation from a different perspective, giving that guiding hand in these situations was a saving grace for my sanity."

— Client of Daniel Gill (Wills, Probate & Estates)

"Never compromising in his professionalism, to bow to my “sometimes” emotional state, Daniel has always been a voice of reason on how to move forward."

— Client of Daniel Gill (Wills, Probate & Estates)

"Really pleased with the work Daniel, it’s been top flight."

— Client of Daniel Gill (Wills, Probate & Estates)

Need Advice?

For more information, get in touch with our team of lawyers at Dwyer Durack today.