How To Prepare For Will Disputes & Protect Wealth

Questions To Ask Before Choosing A Lawyer

We explain in simple language the difference between disputing Will and challenging the inheritance, as well costs and critical tips.

Questions To Ask Lawyers

Before committing to a lawyer you need to ask a number of questions to make sure they are right you. For example, in disputing Wills the process is short and efficient whereas the contested inheritance could be dragged on through the courts. Court hearings are costly and are a last resort the best scenarios to reasonably resolve through nation.

Choose Lawyers As Mediators

Most inheritance and Will disputes can be settled by mediation avoiding the need to go to court and a lengthy costs. Goldman lawyers senior team are accredited mediators. We also have expertise across litigation, trusts, taxation and complex estates and issues such as mental capacity that make us experts across a diverse range of matters so that we can bring our 30 years of experience to any dispute or mediation for the benefit of our clients.

Why ``STEP`` Matters

STEP is an international association and our principal has been a full member of step since 2010. Not only are we expert lawyers but our principle isn’t the right for member of step.

STEP

Why Use A Lawyer Who Is Not a TEP (full Member Of STEP)?

Choosing a the right lawyer as a professional to help you to deal with such important and often sensitive issues can be difficult. Many aspects of planning are non-regulated, meaning anyone can write a Will, for example, regardless of training or expertise. With a TEP, you’re in safe hands.

  • Expertise: TEPs are recognized experts in their field, with proven qualifications and experience.

  • Integrity: TEPs are subject to an extensive Code of Professional Conduct, requiring them to act with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of their clients and of the wider community.

  • Knowledge: TEPs are required to maintain and develop the knowledge and skills relevant to their role as a condition of their continued membership.

  • Connections: TEPs have access to a global network of 20,000 advisors and professionals, enabling them to share knowledge and expertise

Be Wary - Will Disputes Soar

It is clear that a lot of lawyers who are inexperienced are trying to cash in as the total value of wealth transfers increases in Australia to $1.3 trillion In 2018. This is a staggering sum and according to the productivity commission report, anticipated wealth transfers by inheritances will only increase.

Figure 1.14 – $1.3 trillion of inheritances and wealth transfers – 2002 to 2018.

Our Wills & Estates Senior Lawyers

Jaswinder (Jas) Sekhon

Jaswinder (Jas) Sekhon

Managing Director

Jaswinder has a fresh revitalizing approach to law which has led to outstanding results. Admitted to practice as a solicitor/barrister in four countries, with over 30 years’ experience in wealth, finance, tax, trusts, funds, and structures. Jas equally enjoys strategic work for clients in disputes, emerging, criminal or family law.

Jennifer Cheal

Jennifer Cheal

Senior Associate/Practice Manager

As the practice director, Jennifer is a consummate professional and simply an outstanding lawyer. She has a great eye for relevant detail and yet also a wonderful sense of perspective in devising and implementing legal strategies.

Questions For Estate Lawyers?

Selecting The Best Estate Lawyers

What Makes Goldman different?

1. Years of Experience

Goldman has over 30 years experience in this area. A lot of lawyers are simply now jumping on the bandwagon because of the amazing increase in inheritance will disputes.

We have over 30 years experience in this area. A lot of lawyers are simply now jumping on the bandwagon because of the amazing increase in inheritance will disputes.

2. Have you worked in other areas of law?

Goldman lawyers expertise has been directly related to estates and wheels as we have been advising families on transferring wealth and have been part of STEP accreditation since 2010.

Some of our lawyers have worked in senior roles in professional trustee companies and establish private trusts in many jurisdictions for the transfer of wealth.

3. How good are you at mediating and dispute resolution?

Goldman lawyers have complex litigation expertise as well as the senior lawyers being accredited mediators (NMAS) and resolve disputes without going to court. Going to court is a last resort.

4. Understanding emotional conflict in families

Goldman lawyers senior lawyers are trained mediators and in addition to being litigation experts. Our senior lawyers also work in complex family law disputes involving children and in complex financial affairs. We have over 15 years combined experience in family law that enhances our understanding of disputes between family members in Wills and inheritances.

5. Are your lawyers members of STEP?

STEP is a global professional body of lawyers and accountants who specialise in trust and estate matters. To be a full member of step you need to have considerable experience and qualifications as well as ongoing CPD requirements. Our principal has been a member of STEP since 2010.

6. Any expertise in related fields and relevance?

We can manage any litigation and court matters so that you don't have to settle the matter and there is no pressure on you settle the matter as there is with many other lawyers. We are also experts a taxation, land tax, stamp duty and any other inheritance issues that may arise concerning distributions and other areas of law.

7. Critical issues about no win no fee or deferred fees!

Our senior lawyers have not been doing personal injury or ambulance chasing throughout their careers. Clients will go into no win no fee arrangements without understanding how much they are going to lose. A lawyer will push for settlement so that they can get their fees compromising the amount of money that you receive. We selectively provide No Win No Fee.

How Much Will It Cost To Dispute A Will?

  1. Contesting wills

  2. Making a family provision claim

The costs of contesting a will then will need to be covered upfront if you don’t choose the no win no fee option. If your case is successful, your costs may be reimbursed by the estate and if you progress to court, then if successful, the court will generally rule that the estate must pay party/party costs or ‘ordered’ costs which will usually cover about 70% of your solicitor/client costs.

You will then need to pay the rest out of your allotted share of the estate.

  • The type of claim you are making and the value of the estate?

  • The nature and extent of any complications surrounding your claim?

  • How open the executor is to negotiating a settlement to avoid court?

The average cost to contest a ranges from $5,000 – $12,000 if the matter stays out of court. If the matter goes to court, the average cost to contest a will would typically be $20,000 – $150,000.

Family provision claims finalised through mediation, the average cost will be around $30,000.

Getting A Copy Of The Will?

If you need a copy of a will, contact the executor or the solicitor acting for the estate and failing that contact us to obtain the will for you and/or start proceedings.

In NSW, the following persons are entitled to inspect or be given a copy of the deceased’s will:

  • Any person named or referred to in the will;

  • Any person named or referred to in an earlier will as a beneficiary;

  • The surviving spouse, de-facto or issue;

  • The parent or guardian of the deceased;

  • Any person entitled to a share if the deceased has died intestate;

  • Any parent or guardian of a minor referred to in the will or who would be entitled to a share if the deceased died intestate;

  • Any person/creditor who may have a claim against the deceased;

  • Any person with management of the deceased’s personal estate immediately before death;

  • An attorney under the deceased’s enduring power of attorney;

  • Any person belonging to a class of persons prescribed by regulations.

In the event the deceased died intestate (without a will), an application for letters of administration must be made.

Wills & Elder Abuse

Harm may also be seen where the relevant conduct is directed towards personal benefit after the older person’s death. Forcing or coercing changes to a will, for example, is included in some lists as financial abuse.

Below are some of the laws that lawyers may have to consider in challenging inheritances involving Elder Abuse.

  • Guardianship Act 1987

  • Guardianship Regulation 2010

  • Mental Health Act 2007

  • Mental Health Regulation 2013

  • Powers Of Attorney Act 2003

  • Powers of Attorney Regulation 2011

  • Property (Relationships) Act 1984

  • Property (Relationships) Regulation 2005

  • Real Property Act 1900

  • Real Property Regulation 2014

  • Status Of Children Act 1996

  • Status of Children Regulation 2013

  • Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993

  • Trustee Act 1925

  • Trustee Regulation 2005

  • NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009

  • NSW Trustee and Guardian Regulation 2008

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