PREPARING YOUR WILL
Whether you are 25 or 75 years old, your Will is one of the most important legal tools you have. It is a legally binding document that stipulates how your assets should be distributed in the event of your death. The Will may also state directions as to who will care for your minor children upon your death, or how you wish your body to be disposed of.
The preparation of a Will is very important, and we will draft a Will to represent your wishes, from basic Wills to very complex Wills. Wills should be revised from time to time, particularly when significant changes occur in the family, whether personally (for example birth, death, illness, separation, divorce, remarriage) or in the commercial sense.
A Will should be made in contemplation of your marriage, divorce or re-marriage. Unless specifically provided for in the Will, marriage will automatically revoke any existing Will and, depending on the terms of your Will, divorce may achieve a similar result.
Dying without a Will leaves a great deal of uncertainty, as well as an unnecessary burden and stress on your loved ones. Putting a Will in place streamlines the process following your death and allows your family to ensure that your wishes are put in place.
At Uther Webster & Evans we can make the process easy for you. We sit down with you and discuss in detail your assets and how best they should be allocated, taking into consideration your personal family situation and other relevant circumstances.
SUCCESSION AND ESTATE PLANNING
At Uther Webster & Evans we have experienced solicitors who can assist you with your succession and estate planning, incorporating the preparation of a Will, Power of Attorney and appointment of an Enduring Guardian. We are highly skilled in drafting a variety of Wills, including complex Wills using testamentary trusts. Once you have identified what structures you would like to put in place, we will be able to provide you with high-level advice and assist you with drafting the relevant documentation.
FAMILY PROVISION CLAIMS & ESTATE DISPUTES
A Family Provision claim is an application to the Court pursuant to the Succession Act 2006 to seek provision from the Estate of a deceased person, where you have been excluded or believe you have been insufficiently provided for. You are able to make such a claim if you are an eligible person, which includes the spouse or former spouse of the deceased, children or grandchildren of the deceased or any other person who may have been financially dependent on the deceased prior to his or her death. An application for Family Provision must be made within twelve months of the death of the deceased, otherwise leave of the Court is required.
Uther Webster and Evans have a team of highly experienced lawyers who have been involved in a number of successfully lodged Family Provision claims. We can provide you with advice about the factors that the Court will take into account, such as your financial position and that of other beneficiaries, and your prospects of success if you make such a claim.
We are also able to assist in relation to other estate disputes and estate litigation, including the following:
- Assisting family members where the Executor is no longer willing or available to act as the Executor of the estate;
- Acting for beneficiaries to ensure that trustees act appropriately and Executors properly administer the estate according to the Will;
- Acting for family members where executors have not acted appropriately;
- Acting for executors or beneficiaries in relation to lawyers being negligent with respect to the administration of estates resulting in losses to the beneficiaries or excessive legal costs being incurred.