Our team are experienced, compassionate and patient in preparing wills and powers of attorney that reflect the wishes of our clients.
We are seeing an increase in disputes about wills, so it’s never been more important to get the right legal advice when preparing your will. This helps avoid any dispute or confusion in the minds of your beneficiaries. It also helps ensure your wishes are carried out. Where possible, we also recommend having open and honest discussions with your loved ones about your wishes.
When dealing with older clients, we follow the professional guidelines to assess capacity and take care to ensure our assessment is carefully documented in case there are any queries in the future. We also offer a mobile service in Southeast Queensland because we understand it is not always easy to go to a lawyer’s office.
Powers of Attorney
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document which lets you appoint someone else (or multiple people) to make financial and health decisions for you when you are no longer capable. Powers of attorney can be drafted to suit your individuals needs, such as giving the power to only cover specific situations. Because a power of attorney documents empowers others to make decisions on your behalf while you are still alive, it is recommended to speak with our team to ensure your power of attorney is drafted correctly.
Administering the estate of another person can be onerous, especially when you are grieving. Our experienced lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to reduce the stress involved with these types of matters and guide you through the process, regardless of how big or small the estate may be.
DSL Law assists administrators and executors by providing legal guidance about the management of estates. We communicate with beneficiaries, as well as creditors and debtors of the estate, respond to claims, distribute assets, and provide reports for third parties where necessary.
When someone passes away, the first step in administering their estate is often obtaining a Grant of Probate.
There are real benefits in ensuring this process is undertaken in a streamlined and cost-effective manner. That is why DSL Law is pleased to offer its extensive experience in a way that is time and cost efficient for executors.
When should I review my will?
Wills should be reviewed regularly – we recommend once every 12 months or sooner if one of the following important life events occurs:
- if you have a child;
- if a beneficiary mentioned in your Will dies;
- if your executor/s mentioned in your Will lose capacity or die;
- if you separate or become estranged from a spouse (including a marital partner or civil partner);
- if you enter into a de facto relationship; or
- if you divorce, marry, or commence or terminate a civil partnership (including same sex).
Does a will deal with all of my assets?
Contrary to popular belief, wills do not cover all of your assets. You will need to deal with the following assets separately (and keep them in mind when reviewing your will):
- superannuation fund proceeds, which are typically dealt with by a ‘binding death nomination’;
- assets owned by discretionary trusts that have not been distributed to you; and
- life insurance proceeds, which are typically paid to the beneficiary nominated on your policy.
How much does a will and power of attorney cost with DSL Law?
Our fee for a standard will is $550 (including GST) and our fee for a standard power of attorney is $275 (including GST).
Please contact us to discuss a specific quote if the matters involved are complex, or there is travel involved.
What information do you need to prepare a Will?
We conduct a very thorough fact gathering process with you. However, to start the process we really only require:
- Full names and dates of birth and current residential address of yourself, the executors of you Will and any beneficiaries;
- Who you wish for your executor to be; and
- Who you wish to inherit your estate and how your assets should be divided.
We will send out a basic will questionnaire to you to fill out, to obtain the relevant information.
Once this information has been received, we will arrange a time to discuss your testamentary documents with you, undertake more detailed enquiries with you, make any required changes and execute the document.
What information do you need to prepare a power of attorney?
To prepare a power of attorney we will conduct detailed enquiries with you. However, to start the process we simply require the following information:
- You and your attorney’s details including: Full name, date of birth, contact number, email address and current address;
- Whether you power of attorney is to commence immediately, or on the occurrence of a partial event (for example if you lose the capacity to make decisions); and
- whether you are appointing one or more attorney’s and if you are appointing more than one whether those attorneys are to act jointly, severally or successively.
What do I have to do if I am an executor?
Executors have very specific legal responsibilities including:
- Locating the will;
- Identifying and securing the assets of the deceased person;
- If required, obtaining a grant of probate or letters of administration;
- Identifying and communicating with beneficiaries; and
- Distributing assets.
It is important that these responsibilities are managed carefully to minimise any risk of personal liability, disputes or allegations of wrongdoing. DSL Law is always happy to assist in the estate administration process. We can be a heavily or lightly involved as you prefer.
What are Probate Services?
Probate Services are the legal services involved in obtaining a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration through the Supreme Court of Queensland.
A Grant of Probate confirms the will is valid, which protects the executor in the administration of the estate. A Grant of Letters of Administration can be made with or without the will and confirms the authority of the person dealing with the estate.
Do I really need a Grant of Probate?
Whether or not a Grant of Probate is required depends on the circumstances of the estate. We are very happy to have an obligation free discussion with you about this.
As a general guide, a Grant of Probate is generally required:
- To release a nursing home or aged care deposit if that is a requirement of the care facility and;
- To release funds from a bank or other financial institution if the balance of the deceased person’s accounts exceed the amount determined by the institution (usually around $20,000 – although some Building Society’s are increasing this to as high as $50,000).
What does it cost to obtain a Grant of Probate?
At DSL Law, we understand that legal fees should be clear and represent value for money. We take a ‘no surprises’ approach and offer the following fixed pricing.
Total Costs and Outlays for Probate $2,716.00*
This fee includes the following:
Estimate of professional fees
$1,550 plus GST
If you would like to take advantage of our additional services, we confirm our estate administration is charged at our hourly rates and our mobile / travel fee is charged at a fixed rate of $220 (including GST) within the Gold Coast / Brisbane areas.
Estimate of disbursements
$1,003.50 plus GST, which is broken down into the following:
$766.80 – Supreme Court Filing Fee*
$161.70 – Advertising Fee
$55.00 – Brisbane Agent Fee
$20.00 – Express Post (if required)
*Current from July 2022.
**Fee reduction may be possible for concession holders or in other hardship circumstances
Is anything else required?
In most cases, a Grant of Probate is all that is needed to allow the executor/s to commence the estate administration. However, in unusual circumstances (e.g. a damaged or missing will), additional legal work may be required in order to obtain the Grant of Probate. If this happens to you, we are very happy to assist and, where possible, to provide you with a fixed fee.
Andrew and the team went above and beyond for me with the services they provided. They are kind, helpful and very knowledgeable and I can not thank them enough for their service. I can not recommend them more highly. Thanks again Andrew.