Wills & Estates
Wills & Estates
Whether you’re drafting your final wishes, administering an estate or disputing a share of inheritance, our experienced Wills and Estates lawyers are here to help you secure the best possible outcome.
At Baker Deane & Nutt, we have been assisting our clients to navigate the complexities of Wills, estate plans and asset distribution for over 160 years. Our trusted Wills and Estates lawyers provide personalised assistance in areas such as:
Estate administration (including Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration in NSW and the ACT)
To discuss your options with a responsive and reliable solicitor, please contact BDN in Canberra or Queanbeyan. We will guide you through the entire legal process with professional support and genuine advice. Alternatively, if your affairs are relatively simple, take the first step with our Online Will Kit.
Wills and estate planning
Estate planning provides peace of mind that your intentions will be fulfilled. Leave your financial decisions in the hands of someone you trust should you lose mental capacity. Ensure that the assets you have earned over your lifetime are bequeathed to your loved ones. Know your children will be looked after if you no longer can.
Whether you wish to draft a valid Will, file a Power of Attorney or appoint an Enduring Guardian, our Wills and Estates lawyers are available to assist you. Feel confident that your affairs are in order with reliable legal advice from BDN in Canberra and Queanbeyan.
Probate and estate administration
With so many duties and obligations, being nominated as the executor of a deceased estate can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help you every step of the way.
Our Wills and Estates lawyers provide professional, proactive and compassionate assistance with estate administration so that you can perform your role smoothly during this difficult time. Gain considered legal support on matters such as:
Applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
Collecting assets and paying debts
Storing and holding assets
Distributing assets to beneficiaries
Managing taxes for the deceased estate
Defending the deceased estate in Court
Contesting a Will
As Will disputes are subject to strict time limits and varying legislation across states, it’s important to seek professional legal advice as soon as you wish to contest a Will.
If you feel that you have been unjustly excluded from a Will or provided for insufficiently, our dedicated lawyers in NSW or ACT can assist in proving your eligibility and provide legal representation as required.
At BDN, we understand that the death of a loved one is a stressful time fraught with emotion – and that a dispute over inheritance can make this tough situation even more challenging. Together, we will ensure your best interests are respected and protected.
A Will is a legal document that clearly sets out your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death.
Despite being the most important legal document you will ever sign, up to 45% of Australian adults do not have a Will in place! To ensure your final intentions are honoured and your loved ones are taken care of, start planning today. Call our Wills and Estates lawyers in Canberra on (02) 6190 1240 or Queanbeyan on (02) 6189 2601 to get started.
A Will is a critical legal document that details how you would like to distribute your assets upon your passing. In contrast, an estate plan incorporates numerous legal documents that may apply during your lifetime or after your death. Typical elements of an estate plan include Testamentary Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Enduring Guardianships and Advanced Healthcare Directives.
In short, a Will is only one component of an estate plan. To ensure your loved ones’ best interests are protected after you pass away, you should create a comprehensive estate plan that covers every relevant consideration.
A beneficiary is a person you nominate to gain a benefit (usually money or objects) from your will. Anybody you nominate can be a beneficiary however usually it will be a family member, close friend or charity.
An executor of a Will is an individual appointed by the Testator or Court to administer the estate as per the deceased’s instructions. Although the tasks of an Executor vary depending on the state and Will, they typically include:
Liaising with the Wills and Estates lawyer and Court throughout the administration process;
Gathering and accessing probate assets, such as bank accounts and insurance policies;
Paying liabilities, such as outstanding taxes and estate bills;
Distributing assets to beneficiaries; and
Keeping all relevant records and, where necessary, lodging an inventory of assets and accounting of assets with the Court.
Examples of assets that can form part of your estate include money, shares, real property and cars. These may be held with sole or joint ownership. Life insurance and superannuation may or may not form part of your estate.
When drafting your Will, it is important that you speak with a trusted lawyer who can assist you in understanding which of your assets are likely to form part of your estate. As a result, you in turn can make a good decision about how to divide your estate amongst your beneficiaries.
Yes, every adult needs a Will regardless of their wealth or possessions. If you pass away without a valid Will in place, specific laws will govern how your assets will be allocated – and you or your loved ones may not agree with the outcome.
For professional and reliable legal support with drafting your Will, please contact our lawyers in Canberra on (02) 6190 1240 or Queanbeyan on (02) 6189 2601. Alternatively, complete our Online Will Kit in three simple steps and we will be in touch.
Simply put, you are never too young to make a Will. Even if you don’t have any significant assets right now, this will undoubtedly change in the future, and it is prudent to take steps as early as possible to ensure that you have a good estate plan.
There are also some life events that should motivate you to either draft a Will or update an existing Will. Such events include:
You purchase property in your own name or with your partner;
You enter a domestic relationship;
You have children;
You marry; or
Life circumstances tend to change with time, so it’s important to review your Will on a regular basis, as well as after milestones such as:
Death of an executor or beneficiary; and
Any notable adjustment to your finances.
To update your final intentions, you may either make a codicil to your existing Will or draft an entirely new Will to replace the original. Whichever option you select, the latest Will must be signed by you and two witnesses.
As there are many legal considerations to take into account when modifying your Will, it is strongly suggested that you seek the support of an experienced Wills and Estates lawyer before taking action.
You are not legally required to hire a lawyer to make a Will. However, it is strongly recommended that you seek the support of an experienced Wills and Estate lawyer to ensure you have drafted a valid Will that accurately reflects your intentions.
For reliable, responsive and personalised legal support, please contact our Wills and Estates lawyers in Canberra on (02) 6190 1240 or Queanbeyan on (02) 6189 2601. Alternatively, complete our Online Will Kit in under 15 minutes and we will be in touch.
If you die without a Will, then your estate will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy.
While the rules of intestacy will usually result in your estate being distributed amongst your family members, there can be extremely serious, stressful and costly consequences. For instance, the lack of clear intentions increases the risk of dispute among potential recipients of inheritance.
Consequently, it is essential that you have a valid Will in place. To draft your final intentions clearly, contact our Wills and Estates lawyers in Canberra on (02) 6190 1240 or Queanbeyan on (02) 6189 2601. Alternatively, complete our Online Will Kit in under 15 minutes.
In Australia, there is no official reading of a Will. However, the executor should consult the Will and administer the deceased estate accordingly within 12 months of the date of death to avoid any unnecessary additional legal steps.
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