Wills and Estate Lawyers in Sydney
Attwood Marshall Lawyers are one of Sydney’s leading Wills and Estate Law Firms, with a dedicated team of lawyers who practice exclusively in estate planning, probate, estate administration and estate litigation.
Our lawyers in Sydney are ready to help you plan for the future and ensure your best interests, and your family, are protected. There is a lot to consider when putting together an estate plan. It is more than simply writing your Will. Our team can help guide you through the process and ensure your plan reflects your personal circumstances.
Obtaining probate and completing the estate administration process after a loved one passes away is also an extremely sensitive and comprehensive process to fulfil. We are here to support executors, and families, during the administration process.
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Our Sydney Wills and Estate Lawyers specialise in:
Probate & Estate Administration
Retirement Planning & Aged Care
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Wills and Estate Law FAQs
If you do not have an estate plan, unfortunately it is the loved ones you leave behind who are left to deal with the consequences. Estate planning is more than writing your Will, it encompasses all the legal documents you may need to consider to ensure who you want to benefit from your estate after you die ultimately will, and to ensure you have the protections in place for someone to be able to step into your shoes whilst you are still alive if something unexpected happens and you lose mental capacity to make personal, financial, and health-related decisions for yourself.
When you die without a valid Will, you are deemed to have died intestate. This means that the rules of intestacy will apply, and your estate will be distributed according to a set formula. Every state and territory have slightly different legislation which deals with the distribution of an intestate estate and which family members will inherit was percentage of your estate.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a central “Wills register” that lawyers can refer to in order to locate someone’s Will. Finding a lost will can be a time-consuming process. The best approach is to take these initial steps:
- Check the deceased’s last known residence and search through personal possessions and paperwork
- Check the deceased’s smart phone or computer to determine if they held electronic copies of a Will or evidence of their testamentary intentions
- Contact the deceased’s bank to ask if they held a safety deposit box or had documents held in safe custody
- Contact local lawyers where the deceased person lived in case they hold a copy of the Will
- Contact the Public Trust Office to begin a search for any Wills they may have in their custody
- Submit a request to the Supreme Court to search the Probate Office as they maintain a Will registry where the deceased may have chosen to deposit their Will for safe keeping
- Make a request for a lawyer to place an advertisement in the Law Society Journal for other lawyers to see
This is a common misconception however it cannot be further from the truth. Everyone, no matter their age, health status, or wealth status, should have their most basic estate planning documents in place including a Will and Power of Attorney. Many people underestimate their wealth by overlooking the value of non-estate assets that must be dealt with in an estate plan. This includes planning for what will happen to your superannuation contributions, life insurance policies, the family home, shares, investments, motor vehicles, and other personal belongings.
When you are appointed executor of an estate, it is imperative that you understand everything the role entails. It is not a legal requirement to obtain legal advice in order to fulfil your duties, however it can be extremely helpful when administering a deceased estate, to ensure you are adhering to your responsibilities and obligations.
An Executor will also need to respond to any claims on the estate or challenges of the Will. If someone signals an intention to claim against an estate, the Executor should obtain advice from an experienced estate litigation lawyer as soon as possible.
Beneficiaries of estates have certain rights which are protected by law. If you are having difficulty getting information regarding an estate you are a beneficiary of, we can help.
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Book an appointment today with one of our dedicated Wills and Estate Lawyers in Sydney, to plan for the future and ensure your estate and your family are protected.