Wills & Estates
Making your wishes known in the event of your death is an important part of living. We at Mortimore & Associates will take you through the matters to be decided in preparation for making your Will.
If you are in a position of executor of a deceased estate having lost a loved one, friend or acquaintance, we have the resources to take care of the administration of the estate on your behalf. Obtaining Probate is part of our service to you together with giving notice of death to insurance companies, banks, government and semi-government departments and other relevant parties. We will ensure smooth passage of the administration of the estate through to distribution of the estate funds to the beneficiaries.
Why do I need a Will?
A Will gives you the opportunity to appoint trustees who will ensure that your assets are distributed to the beneficiaries which you nominate to receive your assets when you die.
A Will also allows you the opportunity to specify the assets that you wish to leave to the beneficiaries under your Will.
How often should I review my Will?
As your assets change and your relationships with people change throughout your life, it is important to ensure that your Will is updated by your lawyer so that it includes any new property which you have acquired and that your Will still refers to those persons that you wish to leave your assets to.
Other matters dealt with by your Will
The drafting of a Will can raise issues such as the granting of a life interest to a beneficiary or providing an explanation why a particular person is not a beneficiary in your Will.
What if I don’t make a Will?
If you die without a Will (“intestate”) then your assets will be distributed in accordance with the distribution rules imposed upon an Intestate estate. Dealing with an Intestate estate can cause additional legal expenses for your estate and may result in your assets being distributed to persons that you did not want your assets to go to.
Power of Attorney & Health Direction
What is a Power of Attorney?
By signing a Power of Attorney, you are appointing a person or persons to act for you when you are not able to act personally. Your inability to act personally may result simply from the fact that you are going away on holiday and wish to appoint someone to control your personal or business affairs during your absence.
What effect does a Power of Attorney have?
A Power of Attorney can expressly state what powers the Attorney will have and for how long the Attorney can exercise those powers. Having a Power of Attorney can avoid lengthy delays occurring in the execution of legal documents such as Transfers, Leases and Mortgages whilst you are absent.
Enduring Power of Attorney - what is it?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is signed when you want to appoint a person or persons to control your affairs including decisions about your medical care when you are no longer able to personally make those decisions. Executing an Enduring Power of Attorney in anticipation of illness or incapacity can avoid difficulties arising when decisions have to be made regarding your assets and your medical care.
Health Direction - is it necessary?
By giving a health direction in an Enduring Power of Attorney, you can expressly state whether you wish to receive ongoing medical treatment if you are placed onto a life support machine.
The existence of Capital Gains Tax and Superannuation makes it essential for people of all ages to regularly review their Estate Planning.
What is Probate and how does the process work?
Probate is official recognition that the Will is legally valid. We apply to the Supreme Court on your behalf for what is termed "a grant of probate". The grant is a document issued by the Supreme Court recognising your authority to deal with the estate.
Why is probate needed?
The main reason is that some companies, banks and organisations holding assets of the Estate require to sight the grant of probate prior to releasing the assets.
How is a grant of probate obtained?
- Obtain a certified copy of death certificate and original will.
- Prepare an application in prescribed form ("the application") to the Supreme Court for grant of probate.
- Prepare notice of intention to apply for probate.
- Advertise the notice of intention in the newspaper.
- Serve copy of notice on Public Trustee.
- Prepare affidavits supporting application and of publication.
- File in the Supreme Court.
How long does it take to obtain Probate?
From the time that we receive the death certificate and will (and assuming the executors are available to sign the application and authority) the period for obtaining a grant of probate should be about 4 to 6 weeks. Once the probate is received it is provided to the various companies, banks and organisations holding assets of the Estate.