Estates

PC Legal is able to provide expert advice to executors, administrators and beneficiaries in relation to all aspects of estate administration including:

  • Assisting executors with applications for Grants of Probate where a will appoints an executor
  • Assisting beneficiaries with applications for Letters of Administration in estates where there is no will (intestate estates) or the will fails to appoint an executor
  • Advising executors and administrators an all aspects of estate administration including collection of assets and the distribution of the estate to beneficiaries
  • Contested estate matters and litigation

Contested Wills and Estates

 

Wills and estates can be challenged for a number of reasons.

The main reasons include:

  • The will is not legally valid. The will may not have been properly executed or made by a person who did not understand the nature and content of the will
  • The will contains ambiguous provisions
  • Claims for provisions in estates where the will maker failed to make adequate provision for certain individuals and in estates where there is no will
  • Disputes amongst executors and between executors and beneficiaries around the administration of the estate
  • Disputes around the administration of intestate estates (where there is no will)

Wills and estates can be challenged for a number of reasons.

The main reasons include:

  • The will is not legally valid. The will may not have been properly executed or made by a person who did not understand the nature and content of the will
  • The will contains ambiguous provisions
  • Claims for provisions in estates where the will maker failed to make adequate provision for certain individuals and in estates where there is no will
  • Disputes amongst executors and between executors and beneficiaries around the administration of the estate
  • Disputes around the administration of intestate estates (where there is no will)

Obligations of an Executor and Administrator

An executor or administrator is obligated to administer an estate in accordance with the provisions of the will and the law.

The general obligations of an executor or administrator include:

  • Organising the funeral
  • Confirming the assets and liabilities
  • Attending to the tax affairs of the deceased and the estate
  • Making an application for probate of the will or letters of administration (where there is no will)
  • Collecting and realising assets once probate or administration has been granted
  • Paying the estate debts
  • Distributing of the estate
  • Representing the estate if there is any estate litigation
  • Nominate your executor who will be responsible for the administration of your estate.
  • Nominate the beneficiaries of your estate. This also means stating who will benefit from your estate if the beneficiaries of first choice are not alive to benefit.
  • Choose when beneficiaries become entitled to their share of your estate. The vast majority of people are not comfortable with the thought of their 18 year old child receiving their inheritance and often stipulate a later age. Not having a will means that beneficiaries are entitled to receive their inheritance at 18 years of age.
  • Appoint someone to act as the guardian of your minor children.
  • Give your executor and trustee wide ranging powers that will enable your estate to be administered in the best interests of your beneficiaries and in the most tax effective way
    possible.