Wills & Estates

Wills & Estate Matters

Preparing a will isn’t an easy task, and if not done correctly, it can have serious ramifications for your loved ones when you pass away. Additionally, many people don’t realise that marriage voids a will. But because divorce and separation don’t, ex-partners may claim against your estate.

So, to ensure your estate’s protected and distributed in accordance with your wishes, you can trust the expert advice provided by our caring, professional lawyers at YLP – Your Legal Partner. We can advise you on both simple and complex will matters, and we’ll make sure that you understand the gifts and wishes you create in your will, meaning your loved ones have one less thing to worry about when the time comes.

When the time comes to distribute the estate, YLP – Your Legal Partner can help executors apply for a grant of probate and for those estates that do not have a will to direct its distribution, we can assist administrators with applying for a grant of letters of administration. We will assist you throughout the whole process from applications of grants to final distribution of the estate.

If there is a dispute in relation to wills and estates including issues with probate, YLP – Your Legal Partner can advise executors as well as potential claimants in relation to any entitlements under a contested estate with sound advice and support.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a document that allows a person over the age of 18 (“donee”) to act on behalf of another person or company (“donor”) concerning financial matters. It’s important to note that a power of attorney differs from an advance care directive, which deals with care and lifestyle decisions only.

There are two types of power of attorney:

1. General power of attorney: provides limited power for the donee to make financial decisions on limited transactions or for a limited time.

2. Enduring power of attorney: provides power for the donee to make financial decisions on behalf of the donor immediately upon signing and remains valid in the event that the donor becomes legally incapacitated (is no longer of sound mind).

Ensuring that you receive the right advice about powers of attorney is vital. And you can trust the highly experienced, caring lawyers at YLP – Your Legal Partner to provide you with the best advice so you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re interests are protected.

Advance Care Directives

Preparation and planning are vital aspects of life. An Advance Care Directive (ACD) is a legal document that allows a person over 18 years to appoint one or more other people (called the substitute decision-makers) to make lifestyle and care decisions on their behalf when they can no longer do so for themselves. Since 2014, ACDs have replaced Enduring Powers of Guardianship, Medical Powers of Attorney and Anticipatory Decisions.

At YLP – Your Legal Partner, our experienced, caring Adelaide lawyers will ensure your wishes, preferences, and instructions regarding your future health care and personal lifestyle choices are recorded in your ACD correctly. Additionally, we’ll ensure that your designated Substituted Decision Makers are properly appointed and fully aware of the responsibilities undertaken, giving both you and your family peace of mind and confidence to handle any events that may occur in life.

At YLP – Your Legal Partner, we’ll provide you with the best, most affordable packages to prepare, execute, and store Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Advance Care Directives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Finding the right Adelaide lawyer to resolve your legal matters can be difficult. But at YLP – Your Legal Partner, we want to make it simpler by answering some of your wills and estates questions.

Quite simply, a will created using a will kit will only be valid if it’s been prepared and executed under the relevant legislation. Sadly, we often see wills that don’t comply with the strict rules governing valid wills, leading to them being declared unfit to obtain a Grant of Probate. This leads to additional stress for your loved ones and leads to significant additional costs to the estate to administer, meaning much less to be distributed to your beneficiaries. But you can trust our highly experienced lawyers at YLP – Your Legal Partner to ensure that your will is valid under the relevant legislation and complies with your wishes.

A grant of probate is an order from the Supreme Court confirming that the executor named in the deceased’s will has the authority to deal with the deceased’s assets, finalise any debts of the estate, and distribute any remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will. If you’d like more information about how to obtain a grant of probate, our expert lawyers at YLP – Your Legal Partner will provide you with the best, most affordable advice you need.

Section 6 of the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 provides that only the following people can contest a will:
1. The spouse of the deceased person
2. A person who has been divorced from the deceased person
3. The domestic partner of the deceased person
4. A child of the deceased person
5. A child of a spouse or domestic partner of the deceased person being a child who was maintained wholly or partly or who was legally entitled to be maintained wholly or partly by the deceased person immediately before his or her death
6. A child of the child of the deceased person
7. A parent of the deceased person who satisfies the court that he or she cared for, or contributed to the maintenance of, the deceased person during his or her lifetime
8. A brother or sister of the deceased person who satisfies the court that he or she cared for, or contributed to the maintenance of, the deceased person during his or her lifetime.

But why take the risk? At YLP – Your Legal Partner, our highly experienced lawyers will ensure your will is valid and complies with the strict rules governing its validity. Which means you’ll be saving your loved ones from additional emotional and financial stress when you pass away.

If you pass away without a valid will in place, the Administration and Probate Act 1919 governs how your assets are distributed and to whom, which is called “intestacy”. Regardless of what your wishes would have been, the order of distribution of your estate is as follows:
1. First wholly to spouse (if no children)
2. If children and spouse – Spouse to take first $100k and one half of remainder, then rest to children
3. If children and no spouse – children take the estate in equal shares
4. Grandchildren take their parent’s share if a parent has not survived
5. If no spouse, children or grandchildren, relatives will share in the estate

Don’t let this happen to your family, and ensure your estate is distributed following your wishes when you pass away by having a valid will in place at the time of your death. You can trust our highly experienced lawyers at YLP – Your Legal Partner to ensure that your will is valid under the relevant legislation and complies with your wishes. Which means you can have peace of mind that your family will have one less thing to worry about when the time comes.

Advance Care Directives, Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Attorney documents end when you pass away. After this time, they have no effect and cannot be used by the attorney or subsequent decision-makers. But, if you’d like more information about Advance Care Directives and Powers of Attorney, our highly experienced lawyers at YLP – Your Legal Partner will provide you with the best, most affordable advice you need.

Have a question we haven’t covered? Just ask us!

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