Deceased Estates and Estate Litigation

Our Deceased Estates Group is experienced in assisting executors, administrators and beneficiaries to prepare a range of probate documentation and applications and in assisting with the administration of deceased estates.

Administration of deceased estates

We help persons who have been appointed as an executor or administrator to attend to the work required to administer the deceased estate. We tailor our level of service, attending to the full range of administration tasks, or simply advising and preparing documentation as required.

Inheritance claims against deceased estates

We act for family members who believe that their inheritance is insufficient or unfair (or who have been left out of the will) and therefore seek further provision from the estate of the person who has died by making an inheritance claim under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972. We also act for executors and administrators of deceased estates involved in such claims as well as other beneficiaries (including charities) whose own inheritances may be affected by such claims.

Disputes concerning unclear, invalid or missing wills

Challenging a will or contesting a will is also when there is concern about a will being unclear or invalid or if an original will is missing. We act for family members, executors or administrators and other beneficiaries in such will disputes.

Determination of family relationships

Sometimes courts are required to confirm the existence of family relationships (for example, where the person who died had a domestic partner or de facto partner, or where a deceased father’s name is not recorded on a birth certificate) as that can affect entitlements to inheritances. We assist our clients to negotiate these challenging and sometimes emotional circumstances.

DIsputes where a business or farm is not passed on as promised

We can help you make an equitable claim against the assets where you have not received what was promised to you by the deceased. For example, a child might have worked in a family business, or on the family farm, for many years for little financial reward in the expectation or promise that they would inherit the business or farm from their parent. A dispute might arise if the parent dies and leaves the business or farm in their will to be divided equally amongst all of their children, without taking into account the extra work of the child who has worked in the business or on the farm. Sometimes the dispute might arise before the parent dies.

Deceased Estates Team

Alf Macolino | Partner

Tony Fuller | Consultant

Michael Spencer | Special Counsel

Julie-Ann Sparkes | Associate

Probate Clerk

Nikki Harder

Services

The Deceased Estates Group can advise and assist you with the variety of matters that may arise in relation to estates, including:

  • grants of probate
  • intestate estates
  • estate administration
  • lost, damaged or amended wills
  • inheritance claims
  • deeds of family arrangement
  • contested estates
  • declarations of domestic partnership