Douglas Cheveralls Lawyers is experienced in providing advice and legal representation in all matters involving wills and estates, including:
- simple and complex estate planning and drafting;
- assistance with obtaining a grant of probate or letters of administration;
- advice about estate administration and the duties of an executor; and
- advice and representation in a variety of estate disputes, trust disputes and elder abuse cases.
Engaging a lawyer to provide estate planning advice gives the will maker the peace of mind that their wishes will be followed, and that all steps have been taken to attempt to avoid disputes in the future.
The lawyers at Douglas Cheveralls Lawyers provide advice about all matters involving wills and estate planning, and provide tailored advice to meet a will maker’s specific circumstances.
This may include advice about preparing a will, an enduring power of attorney or an enduring power of guardianship, or the benefits of creating a testamentary trust.
Applying for probate and administering an estate is an important function, and for many executors and beneficiaries, the process can seem tedious and daunting.
However, these processes are in place to ensure that executors and beneficiaries are protected and that the testamentary wishes of a deceased person are properly carried out.
Douglas Cheveralls Lawyers may provide guidance with one particular aspect of the estate administration process, such as application for a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration, or about the entire estate administration process.
Wills and Estate Disputes
A deceased estate can be the target of legal proceedings. Unfortunately, sometimes disputes cannot be avoided, and there are many reasons why a dispute between family members may arise.
Douglas Cheveralls Lawyers has experience litigating and resolving many kinds of disputes. Some common examples of areas where disputes arise, and in which the lawyers at Douglas Cheveralls Lawyers have experience in providing advice and representation, are:
- A family member has been excluded from a will or receives a smaller share than other beneficiaries. If this occurs, the family member may be able to make a claim in the Supreme Court under the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA), to vary the will so that they get a larger inheritance.
- A trustee does not comply with their obligations. This may occur, for example, if a trustee does not consider the needs of a beneficiary under a discretionary family trust.
- An executor does not comply with legal obligations. In this case, the executor may be personally liable, and a beneficiary may be able to make an application in the Supreme Court to remove the executor.
- A will contains instructions that don’t make sense or are ambiguous. In these situations, the executor or administrator of the estate should seek judicial advice from the Supreme Court as to what the will actually means. This is important for executors or administrators to consider because, if they don't seek judicial advice and make a wrong decision, they can be personally liable for any losses suffered by the beneficiaries.
- An elderly person does not have the capacity to make a will, or a dispute about whether a particular version of a will is valid or not. In this case, a dispute may arise about which will is the valid will of the deceased person.
- An elderly person no longer has any assets after they die because of elder abuse, which may include abuse of a power of attorney.
Douglas Cheveralls Lawyers has experience in acting for all parties involved, including an applicant or a respondent, and also beneficiaries, family members who have been left out of a will, executors and trustees.
Disputes may also arise before a person has passed away, especially if that person is vulnerable or no longer has mental capacity. Douglas Cheveralls Lawyers provide advice about how to navigate these difficult circumstances for all parties involved.
See the links on this page to more detailed articles about many of the areas of wills and estates that Douglas Cheveralls Lawyers provide advice about.