Will and Estate Disputes
Do I need a Will?
In Queensland if you’re over 18 years old you should have a will. If you don’t and the unexpected happens, then the ones you love may not be protected.
Having a Will enables you to decide who will handle your affairs and how, and to whom your assets will be distributed.
Even if you do have a Will, your circumstances may have changed between the making of that and now.
When was the last time you checked or updated your will?
Ensuring security and delivery of your wishes and legacy.
Being the Executor of an estate can feel overwhelming particularly in times of emotional heartache.
In other circumstances you may feel that you have not been adequately recognised or provisioned for in the will of a deceased person. This is commonly known as “contesting a will.”
Depending on the value of an estate, probate or Letters of Administration may be required.
What is Probate or Grant?
Probate is the Supreme Court’s recognition that a will is legally valid.
A Grant is a Supreme Court document that recognises that you are authorised to deal with the estate of the deceased person.
As the executor of a deceased estate, you may need probate before you can take control of the estate’s assets (‘administer the estate’).
For example, you may need a grant of probate because some people or organisation’s holding assets of the estate will not release them without sighting a grant of probate.
If you’re named as executor in someone’s will, you are responsible for carrying out the terms of the will when they die. To do this, you may have to apply for probate, which is the court’s recognition that the Will is legally valid and you’re authorised to deal with the estate.
Types of Grants
There are three main Grant types:
- Grant of probate – where a valid Will was written and an executor named in the will is applying
- Grant of letters of administration of the Will where a valid Will was written and someone other than an executor named in the Will is applying (the authorised person will be an administrator)
- Grant of letters of administration on intestacy – where no valid Will was written and the authorised person will be an administrator
Do you need Probate?
You should ask the organisation involved (e.g. financial institution) whether you need a grant of probate.
You may not need one if:
- The value of the assets is relatively small (e.g. a small bank account)
- The real estate is to be transferred to a beneficiary named in the will
- You have to sell real estate
You don’t need a grant of probate if the asset (e.g. the family home) is in joint names because it already belongs to the surviving joint owner.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution In The Areas Of
We know you’d prefer to stay out of the courtroom and reach a dispute resolution outcome through settlement or a consent order instead, and that’s where we come in.
Good litigation lawyers possess strong communication and negotiation skills – but great litigation lawyers present a convincing legal argument favouring your position – and that’s what we do. Whether you’re the plaintiff or the defendant, no task is too big or small for our experienced team.