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Wills & Powers of Attorney

WILLS

Even if your affairs are straightforward, drafting a Will with the assistance of a skilled Wills Lawyer guarantees that your intentions are carried out without problems. In our experience, many people are unaware of their assets and what they may leave to their loved ones. This is especially true if you are leaving a complicated scenario behind, such as numerous estates, family trusts, a blended family situation or a self-managed superannuation fund.

 

Whilst you may not want to worry about a Will or a succession plan, given it is not a particularly nice notion and there being a lot to consider, making and executing an effective Will is a crucial aspect of your life that should be taken seriously. It provides you the authority to select who receives what when you pass. Even though a Will is a legal document, our Wills & Estate Lawyers make it as simple as possible to create one.

 

Making a formal Will is the most effective method to ensure that the people you care about are cared for when you pass away. It is a method for you to tell your loved ones exactly how you want your estate split. At Nicholas James Lawyers, our team of experienced Wills Lawyers are an important part of the process and provide a tailored service.

 

We understand that each of our clients have individual needs and wishes; we pride ourselves on our personalised, supportive approach to each of our clients’ circumstances.  We ensure accuracy and precision when drafting our Wills, so that our clients can be certain their wishes are reliably represented.

 

Contesting a Will

The loss of a family member or close relative can be one of the most emotionally devastating times in a person’s life. However, the feelings of grief that you go through following the death of a loved one can be made worse when you realise that the Will appears not to be in terms that you believe your loved one would have created, or in circumstances where you have not been adequately provided for in that person’s Will, or not at all.

 

The same can be said when your loved one passes away without a Will and those persons whom you believe should not benefit from the estate, become entitled by law, to a share in that person’s estate.

 

Challenging a Will may appear to be a daunting endeavour. You won’t have to worry about the legalities with our team of experienced Wills Lawyers guiding you each step of the way.

 

In Victoria, the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) provides an avenue whereby persons who have concerns regarding a Will, can apply to the Supreme Court to challenge, or otherwise alter a Will. These situations include:

  • Where a person did not have the requisite testamentary capacity to make a Will at the time the Will was signed by them.
  • Where it is alleged that the person made their Will under the influence of other persons (and hence, not of their own free will).
  • Where a person believes they are entitled to a portion or greater portion of the estate than they received under the Will (Testators Family Maintenance Claim).

 

 

Should your claim be successful, the Supreme Court may make several orders regarding the effect of the Will or otherwise, alter the distributions as contained in the Will in favour of the claimant.

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Powers of Attorney

As we get older, many of us consider the possibility of not being able to manage our own affairs. In such scenarios we may empower individuals we trust to take care of our affairs if we become mentally or physically incapacitated by establishing Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Powers of Attorney are legal documents that allow a person to appoint someone to make important decisions on their behalf when they are no longer able to make such decisions for themselves.  Powers of Attorney may relate to legal, financial, or even medical decisions and should be considered by people of all ages, not just the elderly.

Much like our Wills, our Powers of Attorney services provide our clients with certainty and to know that their interests and wishes will be looked after.

There are three forms of Enduring Powers of Attorney available in Victoria, each dealing with a distinct area of your life management:

 

  • General Non-Enduring Power of Attorney – authorises a person(s) to act on your behalf for specific purposes. You can determine the scope and terms of the Power by specifying in the appointment what you are authorising your Attorney(s) to do.
  • Enduring Power of Attorney – authorises a person(s) to make financial and/or personal decision on your behalf. 
  • Medical Treatment Decision Maker – to make necessary decisions about your medical treatment when you are unable to.

 

At Nicholas James Lawyers, our Wills and Estate Lawyers pride themselves on their supportive, reliable service and help with all types of Powers of Attorney, including:

 

  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • General Non-Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Supportive Attorney Appointments
  • Medical Treatment Decision Makers
  • Advance Care Directives
  • Guardianship & Administration Orders (VCAT)
  • Revoking Powers of Attorney

 

We also help clients in relation to various VCAT Applications, such as the appointment or cancellation of administrators and guardians, and disputes about Powers of Attorney.

We provide a flexible service and offer both home and hospital visits to clients who are unable to travel to our office.

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Why Nicholas James Wills and Estate Lawyers?

As an Integrated Law Firm, we provide a broad spectrum of quality legal services delivered with a cost effective, supportive, and personalised approach.

We devote time to our clients and their matters to have a deeper understanding of their situations and legal needs. If you have concerns about any of the above matters, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced Wills & Estates lawyers for advice to ensure the best interests of your loved ones are being met.

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