Wills and Probate and Estates
Wills and Probate and Estate Planning: Your Last Will and Testament
A Will allows you to decide where your money, personal effects and assets will go after death.
A Will is an effective tool in estate planning and every person should have a will (“execute a will”).
Creating a will can be quite simple but it also may involve complex legal issues which you should understand. Larger estates (all the things you own) tend to be more complex and will need legal guidance for you to be sure that your estate is distributed in the way you wish.
Without a properly executed will, your assets will be distributed according to South Australian law. This is called ‘intestacy’.
Your assets may be distributed to distant members of your family rather than to the people you would like to benefit from your estate.
Estate planning also requires consideration of what are called ‘non estate assets’.
These can include assets such as
- life insurance,
- jointly owned property and
- assets owned by other entities such as trusts or companies.
Contact Nicholls Gervasi today to get started with estate planning. Call: 83643666.
We will explain what needs to happen to ensure your assets go where you want them to.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Your Will decides about asset distribution after death.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document which appoints someone to conduct your financial affairs and act on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so yourself during your lifetime.
An Enduring Power of Attorney can take effect immediately or only when you are incapacitated. It remains in force beyond any mental incapacity.
Nicholls Gervasi Lawyers can create an Enduring Power of Attorney and explain its effect. Call: 83643666.
We recommend that every person has an Enduring Power of Attorney, to ensure that in an unanticipated event you will be properly cared for without dispute.
Advanced Care Directives
Changes to the law in SA have replaced what used to be called Medical Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Guardianship with one standard form called an “Advance Care Directive”.
The Advanced Care Directive allows you to appoint a substitute decision maker to make decisions for regarding health care, living arrangements and other personal matters.
Our lawyers can assist you with writing these documents in a way which won’t cause unnecessary confusion and delays with your healthcare if they come into effect.
When someone dies, their assets are called their ‘estate’.
The administration of the estate according to Wills and Probate requires paying any debts the deceased had when they died and then distributing the remaining assets in accordance with the Will or the laws of Intestacy.
Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration: Wills and Probate
Before this can happen, you may need to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. Whether or not you will need to apply for these legal instruments will depend on your circumstances.
Distribution of Assets
Losing someone close to you is a trying time.
We can look after are the legal requirements including obtaining grants of Probate or Letters of Administration and other legal issues affecting the estate.
We can arrange for the distribution of assets in the estate in a timely and legally secure way.
Make an appointment with one of our lawyers today: 83643666.
We will explain how the laws about deceased estates in your specific case in straight forward language.
Disputes over a deceased estate can arise.
There may be questions as to whether a Will has been properly executed or completed, a dispute as to the meaning of the Will. There may be a situation where there are multiple different Wills or a person or relative may feel they have not received their proper share from the estate.
Whatever the dispute, Nicholls Gervasi Lawyers can help. Contact us (83643666) to arrange an appointment to find out your rights to inheritance or to discuss possible ways to protect an estate from a challenge.
08 8364 3666
We service clients internationally and throughout South Australia with four convenient office locations.