Adelaide & South Australia
Wills & Estates Lawyers
Your family’s long-term financial security is important and this is where professional estate planning is essential.
Adelaide Legal’s Wills & Estate Lawyers can ensure your assets will be distributed, as you would like, on your death.
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Wills & Estates Expertise
Why have a Will?
If you want to ensure your loved ones are catered for when you pass, then a professionally drafted Will is the best tool at your disposal.
Without a Will, your wishes have no way of being known, and the administration of a deceased estate without a Will can be a complicated and expensive process for your next of kin.
Who will represent my wishes?
We can help you to choose and appoint an Executor. This person (and it can be more than one) will be someone you trust to finalise your legal and financial affairs for you. They will have the responsibility of ensuring your wishes are carried out when you pass.
Who prepares my Will?
Our Wills and Estates lawyers will help you to prepare a Will that meets all the formal requirements of South Australia’s Wills Act.
Can someone challenge my Will?
Yes. It is always possible that an individual with standing (i.e. the statutory right to do so) may challenge your Will.
Our professional and experienced Wills lawyers will advise on the best way to draft your Will, so as to reduce the risk of this happening.
More complex Wills
Sometimes life can be complicated due to changing family circumstances, business ownership and other factors.
Our Wills and Estates lawyers also arrange, draft and manage complex Wills, covering issue such as:
- Testamentary trusts;
- Protective trusts for incapacitated beneficiaries;
- Guardianship clauses;
- Maintenance of minor children; and
- Provision for the children of prior marriages or relationships.
when someone contests my Will?
Our Wills lawyers have extensive experience dealing with contested estates. We can act where the validity of the Will is in dispute, or where further provision is sought under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act despite the Will being otherwise valid.
Why do people challenge Wills?
Wills are challenged for a number of reasons, including when:
- It is alleged that a person did not have the mental capacity to sign the Will; and
- It is believed that one or more persons applied undue pressure on the deceased when the Will was created.
Close family members, such as a spouse or children, often dispute Wills when they feel that they weren’t adequately provided for.
This can be especially difficult when there are blended families, and several people with competing interests.
Adelaide Legal’s Wills Lawyers have the expertise to resolve these issues, whilst maintaining the appropriate consideration for family relationships.
Power of Attorney
What is a “Power Of Attorney?”
A Power of Attorney is a legal document, which permits an individual to act on your behalf, when you can’t make decisions for yourself. This can include when you are travelling overseas, are hospitalised or impaired. You can appoint one or more people to look after your legal and financial affairs, to ensure they are managed in your best interests.
What if I’m worried someone may take advantage of me?
You can limit the powers the person has, for example their ability to sell your property or manage your business affairs.
What can a person do if they have a Power of Attorney?
Both Power of Attorneys and Enduring Power Attorneys give a person the power to act for you in regard to legal and financial matters.
What Is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a Power of Attorney document designed to continue to operate if you lose your mental capacity.
When can’t a Power of Attorney be signed?
A Power of Attorney can only be signed by you whilst you have the legal capacity to do so. This does not apply if you are mentally incapacitated.
If you need advice, our Adelaide Legal Wills & Estates lawyers can help you make the right decisions, and the right choices for YOU.
Can someone with Power of Attorney put me in a home?
A Power of Attorney does not give a person the ability to make decisions concerning your welfare and lifestyle.
To make sure you are establishing the right foundation for your Power of Attorney, contact Adelaide Legal’s Wills & Estates lawyers for the best advice for you.
Advance Care Directives
What is an Advanced Care Directive?
If you become mentally incapacitated, an Advanced Care Directive is a document that allows you to appoint a person, known as a “Substitute Decision Maker,” permitting them to make certain lifestyle and welfare decisions for you.
The Advanced Care Directive will include decisions in relation to lifestyle and accommodation, and may also include directions in relation to the medical treatment you are to receive in the event that you are terminally ill.
An Advanced Care Directive must be signed whilst you are of sound mind. It will come in to force in the event that you are no longer able to manage your affairs due to loss of mental capacity.
Adelaide Estate Administration and Probate
If you have been named the Executor of a deceased estate, or you are the next of kin of a person who has died without a Will, our Wills & Estates lawyers can help you to fulfil your obligations and administer the estate.
The Adelaide Legal team can guide and help you to:
- Identify the assets and liabilities of an estate;
- Obtain Probate or Letters of Administration;
- Pay the debts of the estate;
- Attend to asset transfers and sales; and
- Help attend to the registration of death on any jointly owned assets (e.g. real estate)