Adelaide Wills & Estates Lawyers 

We are trusted wills and estate lawyers in Adelaide with extensive experience helping individuals, couples, and families with a range of estate planning, probate, and administration matters.

Making your Will

Having a Will prepared by a legal expert gives you peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after in accordance with your final wishes.

A Will is a legal document that appoints somebody (your executor) to administer your estate when you die and directs how your assets should be divided between your beneficiaries. Your Will can also indicate to your family your wishes on other important matters such as who you choose as guardians of your children and specific burial arrangements.

Whether your Will is simple or complex, involving a lawyer to guide you through the process can help structure your estate to achieve its full potential.

Estate planning for blended families

There is no one-fit solution when it comes to estate planning for the blended family. The dynamics and needs within families evolve and personal assets may fluctuate from year to year. However, by identifying the potential issues that might arise within each family unit, and considering some options to address these, an effective estate plan can be implemented. The important thing is to discuss your circumstances and objectives with your lawyer so that your wishes can be properly set out in your Will and other estate planning documents.

Testamentary trusts

In some cases, we may recommend establishing a testamentary trust. This is a discretionary trust contained in your Will that comes into effect when you die. A trustee is appointed to manage the trust and distribute assets to beneficiaries in accordance with the rules outlined in the trust deed.

Holding assets in trust can help protect vulnerable or minor beneficiaries and safeguard assets from claims by third party creditors. The flexibility and control that a trust allows in distributing assets can also be advantageous when it comes to the way inheritances are taxed. We can explain the pros and cons of having a testamentary trust in your Will so you can decide if this is the right choice for you.

Asset protection and succession planning

Asset protection involves structuring your affairs to eliminate or reduce financial loss and to safeguard property. When planning your estate, there are steps you can take to ensure your assets are protected for future generations and that your estate is left only to those you intend to benefit.

If you own a business, it is important to have a succession plan. Having a strategy is essential to determine what happens if a specified event occurs such as divorce, unexpected death or illness, retirement, or bankruptcy.

We regularly provide tailored, strategic advice on asset protection and succession planning for business owners and high wealth individuals.

Help with managing your affairs

As part of your estate plan, we recommend putting in place certain documents to help you manage your affairs for convenience, as you age, or if you are incapacitated.

An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that appoints somebody you trust to make certain personal and financial decisions on your behalf if you lose capacity to make those decisions yourself.

An advance care directive allows you to express specific wishes about certain aspects of your health and medical treatment, and appoint somebody to make decisions for you, if you are incapacitated.

Talking through your circumstances with a lawyer can help you decide the type of documents that will help you and your family manage if an unforeseen illness or injury occurs.

Estate administration and executors

If you are an executor or have recently lost a loved one, we can help you finalise the affairs of the estate and provide guidance to ensure your legal obligations are upheld.

Executors and administrators have many responsibilities including identifying and collecting assets, applying for probate or letters of administration, paying debts, transferring property to beneficiaries, and organizing estate tax returns.

An executor may need to apply for a grant of probate before the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries. If the deceased person does not have a Will, somebody (usually the next of kin) may need to apply for letters of administration. Both processes require an application with supporting documents to the Supreme Court. A grant of probate deems the deceased’s Will to be their last Will and to be valid, which authorises the executor to distribute the estate. A grant of letters of administration provides authority for the administrator to deal with the estate.

Family provision claims

If you believe that you have been unfairly treated in terms of an inheritance from a family member, you may be able to make a family provision claim. A successful claim may result in you receiving a share or greater share than provided under the Will of a deceased person, or the administration of an intestate estate.

You can only make a claim if you are eligible and strict time limits apply. We can advise on the relevant eligibility criteria and time limits in your circumstances.

A family provision claimant must show that the deceased person failed to make adequate provision for his or her proper maintenance, education, or advancement in life. When considering such a claim, a court will look at a range of factors including the size of the estate, the competing interests and needs of other beneficiaries under the Will or other eligible claimants, and the nature of the relationship between the claimant and deceased.

Many claims settle out of court through negotiation or mediation between the parties’ legal representatives.

Speak to our Adelaide Wills & Estate Lawyers 

We provide tailored, holistic estate planning, probate, and administration advice in plain easy-to-understand language. We offer a flexible service, and are available to meet clients in person, remotely, or at their bedside.

If you need assistance, contact one of our lawyers at [email protected] or call 08 8155 5322 for expert legal advice.

Plan your legacy with peace of mind.
Contact us today to plan your Estate.