Estate law in Australia falls into several stages depending on the person whose estate is in question. These stages are estate planning, drafting a will or trust and estate administration with estate lawyers able to assist through all of these processes.
Estate planning covers the transfer of property and belongings at death while estate administration refers to the legal process of maintenance and distribution of assets after a death. Typically a person's will or trust will decree how it is distributed.
There are generally two occasions when a person will require the services of an estate lawyers, that is when you are creating your will or trust or when an estate needs to be administered after a death.
Consulting with an estate lawyer before drafting your will is smart option as estate lawyers can explain all the potential tax implications and legal formalities of will and trust drafting. What's more, an estate lawyer can help you decide how you want your will to be distributed and what sort of will is appropriate for your situation and your family's. Advice that estate lawyers can offer includes selecting beneficiaries, planning care for any children and funeral arrangements.
Typically the same estate lawyer will work with an individual throughout all the legal processes associated with a person's estate and will with an experience estate lawyer being able to explain the will to the beneficiaries and how it was been divided.
Overall, estate lawyers will ensure that all legal requirements are met in the process of both drafting and executing a will. This means that estate lawyers will ensure all documents are correctly signed and witnessed, beneficiaries are provided for, advise on administrator roles and consider the circumstances of new and old wills, represent any religious standings of the deceased, enforce and restrictions of the will and beneficiaries, advise in situations of no executor and or ambiguity in a will.
Of course, estate lawyers are also used when there is a question of contesting a person's will. This means that they can be hired to represent a person's request for more from a deceased persons' will. Generally estate lawyers will advised on whether someone has a claim to contest a will and the likelihood of success if they choose to put in a claim.
Essentially, the death of a person can be a very emotionally-fuelled time of a family's life and estate lawyers are generally used to provide experience and clarity of any legal processes.