Estates & Probate
“Estates” refers to Estate Planning, which is the overall structure of the documentation in place to manage your Estate after death. This refers to your Will and any other documents you may have to establish what your plans are in the case of your incapacity, and what your plans are for your estate after your passing.
Besides the Will itself, these documents can include but are not limited to:
- Enduring Powers of Attorney;
- Enduring Powers of Guardianship;
- Advance Care Directives;
- Deeds of Family Arrangement;
- any Trusts in relation to your family and business affairs, including company and partnership documents, if any;
- any Testamentary Trusts to take form and effect after your passing; and
- any further instructions to your Executor(s).
Your business interests should be taken into consideration when you are planning your Estate.
Competent planning can minimise tax, maximise what your beneficiaries receive, and assist you with passing ownership or control of your assets according to your wishes.
We will work with your financial planners and accounting advisors to ensure your beneficiaries receive what you have wished for, in a smooth and secure manner.
“Probate” refers to the what the Executor receives by making an application to the Supreme Court of your State or Territory, together with a Death Certificate, for the Grant of Probate to obtain authority to administer the Estate. This occurs after the passing of the person who made the Will.
The Probate process is often quite complex, and factors into consideration legal and taxation aspects, including family disputes over assets and claims to the Estate made by potential beneficiaries who claim they have been unfairly left out of a Will.
The steps involved in applying for Probate can be made easier by utilising prudent legal advice to assist you to navigate through the process.
Letters of Administration: If there is no valid Will made, or if there is a Will but it is not found to be valid, then Letters of Administration can be applied for and granted by the Supreme Court. The process is much the same as applying for Probate, but with minor variations in the process.
Once Letters of Administration are granted, the Administrator (having identical responsibilities as an Executor) can distribute the Estate of the deceased person.
There are strict rules about how an Executor or Administrator can deal with the Estate of a deceased person, and an Executor or Administrator may have legal action taken against them by the beneficiaries if those rules are not complied with.
Obvia Legal can guide you through this complex area to give you peace of mind, knowing your family and beneficiaries will receive the best they can from you.