Friday 29th April 2022 from 9am

Wills & Estates Senior Associate Debbie Sage will join Robyn Hyland to talk about the importance of planning for end-of-life care and what options are available.
april kennedy estate litigation lawyer
April Kennedy joined Attwood Marshall Lawyers in 2008 and is an experienced Estate Litigation Special Counsel, practicing exclusively in the area of probate and estate disputes.

As a qualified Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and with over 15 years’ experience in the legal industry, April's sole focus is Wills, Probate and Estate Litigation.

Given the nature of her role, April is empathetic to the needs of her clients who are often unfamiliar with legal processes. She strives to inform her clients about their rights and entitlements, as well as any foreseeable risks so they have the complete picture and fully understand all the issues. She adopts a pragmatic and sensible approach to all matters to minimise costs and preserve her clients’ entitlements, so that a matter can be resolved promptly. April ensures that her clients understand every step in the legal process, as well as the costs involved, so they are not left second-guessing.

April is highly experienced in family provision claims, acting for applicants wishing to contest a Will as well as executors who are defending an estate against a claim. She understands the strengths and weaknesses of each claim and can identify those issues early on to assist her clients in reaching an early resolution. In circumstances where an early resolution is not possible, April has experience representing clients in the Supreme Court.

April regularly assists beneficiaries who have been left in the dark by an executor and require clarity on their rights and entitlements, as well as assistance asserting those rights and navigating the estate administration process.

April has a keen interest in matters concerning informal Wills, and the validity of a Will where the deceased may have lacked testamentary capacity or may have been unduly influenced by another person to make or change their Will.

She is passionate about educating others about the pitfalls of Will Kits and DIY Wills, having acted for distressed executors and beneficiaries who must deal with the aftermath, ensuring that each person understands the cost involved to fix these Wills in order to obtain Probate, as well as the various disputes that often arise over these types of Wills.

At a foundational level, April is experienced in all types of Wills and Estate matters including preparation of Wills, and Supreme Court applications for Probate, Letters of Administration on intestacy and Letters of Administration with the Will annexed. She is particularly interested in difficult and out-of-the-ordinary Supreme Court applications for Probate/Administration, including where:

  • there is an ‘informal’ Will which has not been properly signed;
  • the original Will has been lost, and only a copy can be located;
  • the executor has died, and there is no alternative executor;
  • the executor has lost capacity and is not capable of carrying out their role;
  • the executor neglects to carry out their role;
  • there is no Will and the deceased had a blended family;
  • the only surviving family member is a minor child;
  • there is evidence the deceased lacked capacity but made a Will regardless;
  • the executors reside in another country, and an application must be made by an attorney.

April chose to pursue a career in law because she is interested in the dynamics that ultimately lead to (or inform) contentious legal matters, and this fuels her desire to help those involved navigate the often difficult and unknown legal processes.

She joined Attwood Marshall Lawyers in 2008, initially working in Wills and Estate administration. Since then, she has built up a particular passion for litigation and taking on complex applications involving contentious matters in an estate.

April graduated from Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Laws in 2017 and was admitted as a solicitor in 2018. She holds a Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law Australia, and is currently undertaking her Master of Laws (Applied Law), majoring in Wills and Estates.

She is also a STEP Affiliate Member. STEP is a global professional body, comprising of lawyers, trustees, accountants and other practitioners that help families plan for their futures.

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