Frequently asked questions

Take the first step, talk to a Family Lawyer. 

If I am the executor of an Estate, can I get paid for my services?

In certain circumstances, this may be possible

Can I get a copy of the Will after someone has died, even though I am not named in it?

In many cases, yes. If you have been named in a previous Will of the deceased or if you are otherwise a person in an eligible category you are entitled to a copy.

Am I entitled to something from an Estate, even if I am not named in the Will?

Quite possibly. It will depend on your relationship to the deceased, whether you are in a category of eligible claimants and whether you are within time to make a claim.

Can I use the Power of Attorney I have for the deceased to deal with their Estate after they die?

No. A Power of Attorney ends upon the death of the principal.

I didn’t bring any money or assets into the relationship and now we have separated. Am I entitled to some of my partner’s assets?

Quite possibly. Initial contributions are only one factor considered in determining how assets should be divided after relationship breakdown.

How do I formally separate from my partner?

Separation occurs when at least one spouse communicates that they want separation to occur to the other spouse. This can occur verbally and by conduct, such as moving out of the marital home. You should note this date, but there is no formal register to record it.

The executor of my Will has moved house, do I need to re-do my Will?

No, but it is a good idea to make sure this is updated the next time you have cause to change your Will.

My …..has died what do I do next and when do I come to see you?

A funeral is generally the first thing to take care of, but we recommend letting us know of the death as soon as possible as there may be special directions in the Will about burial or cremation. 

My child has met someone that we do not want to receive any of our assets should we die. Can my Will be set up so that they have no claim in the event of death?

You can choose who your beneficiaries will be when preparing your Will.  However, your child’s partner could unintentionally benefit through a property settlement if they were to separate from your child after you die, so you should seek legal advice.   

Do I have to have a will?

You don’t have to BUT you definitely should. If you don’t have a will when you pass away, then State laws may determine what happens to your Assets and dependants if you have any, rather than you.

What if I cant find my original will?

Make a new one as soon as you can. If you pass away and your original (not a copy) signed will cannot be located, this will create a lot of unnecessary stress and expenses for your family and/or loved ones. Always store our original will in a safe place and let your executors know where that it. We would recommend it be stored in safe custody, usually in the Solicitors office.

Why should I insure the house I bought today?

Apart from the fact that the contract requires you to, there are also other important reasons. Enquire with us what these are.

The Sellers have left the house in a mess after settlement – what can I do?

You have various options, but you cannot fail to settle. Please call us to discuss what options are available to you.

The Sellers took the dishwasher – what can I do?

This will depend on the circumstances of each matter. Call us to discuss your specific circumstances.

My ex and I wrote down what we have agreed to for property settlement and now they have changed their mind. Can I hold them to our deal?

No.  Unless a property settlement is documented in a legally binding way, your deal generally wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s written on. It is important to get early legal advice.

The Attorney of my EPOA has moved house, do I need to re-do my EPOA?

No, but it is a good idea to make sure this is updated the next time you have cause to change your EPA.   

My parent has met someone – do they have a claim on his/her assets if they are not mentioned in the Will?

Possibly, so it is best to take legal advice specific to your circumstances.

How long do I have to wait before I can get a divorce?

12 months and 1 day from the date of separation.  You should speak to a family lawyer if you are thinking of getting a divorce and have not finalised a property settlement, as time limits apply.

Can I get a divorce if my former partner does not agree?

Yes, you can make a sole application for divorce.  We recommend speaking to one of our family lawyers about the process and requirements.