WILLS AND ESTATES

Wills
It is possible to obtain a Will Kit and complete it with no legal advice. However, there are numerous pitfalls that should be addressed by an experienced lawyer. The process of leaving your estate may not always be as straight forward as initially perceived and ambiguity results in delays and disputes between beneficiaries. Family disputes will seriously erode the inheritance as legal fees are taken prior to distribution.

The validity of your will is further supported by engaging an experienced and independent law practice like Nathan White Lawyers. The will can be securely stored in our offices and produced as required. If the will is to be challenged, which sometimes is the case, you will be advised of the likelihood of success. We will negotiate on your behalf and if necessary, take the case to court. During this process we take action to protect the assets until the dispute is resolved.

It is also necessary to appoint suitable executors for the estate and your lawyer may also act in this role.

You may download our Instruction and Application forms to start your will online and return via post, fax or email to: Nathan White Lawyers 375 Greenhill Road, Toorak Gardens SA 5065 F +61 8 8332 3399 E nathan@nawlaw.com.au

Cost:
$300 + GST Single
$500 + GST Couple

Complicated wills incur more expense, charged at the usual hourly rate. These are determined following our initial free consultation.

Powers of Attorney
The General Power of Attorney deals with financial affairs only. These may be restricted to a time frame, e.g., the duration of your overseas trip. Medical and lifestyle matters are covered by Advance Care Directives.

Enduring Power of Attorney applies in the case of mental incapacitation. The individual must have complete trust in the integrity of the recipient (donee) – usually a close family member or trusted friend.

Cost:
$70 + GST

Advance Care Directives (ACDs)
This document covers your wishes for future care and end of life situations, e.g., regarding resuscitation or mechanical life support. Understandably, these matters may be extremely distressing and you will be empathetically supported through the process, always aware that this document eases the burden for your family by knowing what your wishes were while you were still able to make these decisions.

ACDs do not cover financial affairs as these are covered by the Power of Attorney.

There is an approved Government form however, having a lawyer draft the document ensures that you are of sound mind and that the Substitute Decision-makers are properly screened and familiar with the responsibilities of the role. ACDs concern the medical and lifestyle decisions that will be made for your ongoing care, so it is important to identify any shortfalls in the document. Far better to be safe than sorry.

Cost:
$90 + GST

www.advancecaredirectives.sa.gov.au/about

Probate
This is the process of proving and registering the last Will and Testament of the deceased in the Supreme Court. A valid Will appoints an executor/s to administer the estate, dispose of the assets and pay the debts.

The executor needs to obtain a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court, having first proved the Testator of the will is dead, the authenticity of the will and the executor’s proof of identity.

Providing there are no challenges to executorship of the nominated individual, the Grant of Probate then enables the executor to collect the assets of the deceased, collectively ‘the estate’, from funds held in property, banks, superannuation entitlements and all who require such proof.

There will be many initial questions to answer relating to costs, time frames and assets. Challenges to the validity of the Will and distribution of assets from other people claiming an interest in the estate of the deceased may cause lengthy delays and additional debt as the costs arising from contested estates are usually paid from the estate prior to eventual distribution.

For complicated estates, it is advisable to seek legal assistance and Nathan White Lawyers is able to facilitate the process for you with the benefit of experience and previous equitable resolutions.

Letters of Administration
These are required when a person dies intestate or without leaving a valid will. The reasons for this may be complicated and it is reassuring to be guided by a lawyer who understands the process and is able to support and advise.

There are numerous classes of assets which cannot be accessed by the potential administrator of the estate without a Grant of Letters of Administration from the Supreme Court.

The administrator/s may be direct family members, spouses both legal and de facto or a suitable individual appointed by the Court in the event that there is no family member.

The assets once collected are distributed to the rightful recipients in accordance with State intestacy law.