Deceased Estates

We’re coming to Ipswich!

by Judica Swift on July 10, 2015 Comments Off on We’re coming to Ipswich!

Our Logan & Scenic Rim branch is extending its service area to include our Ipswich community!

We appreciate how hard it is to get legal advice when and where you need it and that’s exactly why we’re extending our service area.  We’re listening and evolving with our clients’ needs and offering all our legal services to our Ipswich communities.  This includes all conveyancing services, wills, estates, powers of attorney, trusts, guardianship, retirement planning and retirement village contracts and elder law.  And there is still no catch; we still come to you at no extra charge!

If you need assistance with your legals, please contact your local team on 07 5547 7112 or email your local Solicitor, Nikki Gough, at

See you soon!

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Judica SwiftWe’re coming to Ipswich!

What is Letters of Administration?

by Judica Swift on April 5, 2014 Comments Off on What is Letters of Administration?

Letters of Administration is:

  • A legal document;
  • The process by which the Supreme Court appoints a person to be administrator of a deceased person’s estate and officially authorises the administrator to distribute a person’s estate in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy (i.e. the rules that apply when you die without a Will).

Letters of Administration is a similar process to that of obtaining a Grant of Probate.  See our post on Probate here.

The difference between Probate and Letters of Administration is:

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Judica SwiftWhat is Letters of Administration?

What is Probate?

by Judica Swift on April 5, 2014 Comments Off on What is Probate?

Probate is:

  • A legal document;
  • The process by which the Supreme Court proves the last Will of the deceased as valid
  • The process that officially appoints the executor as having the authority to distribute a person’s estate in accordance with their last Will

In Queensland, it is not always essential to get a Grant of Probate to administer someone’s estate;  this will generally depend on the assets held by the estate and the size of the estate.

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Judica SwiftWhat is Probate?

What if I don’t have a Will?

by Judica Swift on April 3, 2014 Comments Off on What if I don’t have a Will?

What happens when you pass away without a Will depends on a number of factors:

  • What family have you left behind?
  • Are children involved?
  • Is your spouse/child more needy than the others?
  • Does your family get along?
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Judica SwiftWhat if I don’t have a Will?

Joint Tenants & Tenants In Common, what’s the difference?

by Judica Swift on April 2, 2014 Comments Off on Joint Tenants & Tenants In Common, what’s the difference?

Jointly owned property may form part of your estate, depending on how it is held.

Joint Tenants

If you own property with another as Joint Tenants this means that upon the death of the first joint tenant, the interest in the property passes automatically to the surviving joint owner.  This is also referred to as the “Right of Survivorship”.  This is an automatic right.  As a result of this automatic right, this property will not form part of your estate.  The only time this property would form part of your estate is if you were the last surviving joint tenant and you passed away.  The property falls to the estate of the last joint tenant to pass away.*

Jointly held bank accounts are also subject to the “Right of Survivorship” and as a result will pass to the surviving joint owner upon your death.

Tenants in Common

If you own property with another as a Tenant in Common, you can own equal or unequal shares.  The difference with Tenants in Common is that when you pass away, your share will fall into your estate and be dealt with and distributed in accordance with your Will or the Rules of Intestacy (if you don’t have a Will).  For example; you own a house with another and you own 50% each as Tenants In Common.  When you pass away, your 50% share of that property will fall into your estate.

*Note:  other considerations might be relevant to your estate plan if you have property in NSW.

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Judica SwiftJoint Tenants & Tenants In Common, what’s the difference?

What is an “Estate”?

by Judica Swift on April 2, 2014 Comments Off on What is an “Estate”?

An estate is the word used to describe your pool of assets that you own at the date of your death.

What assets fall to your estate upon your death depend on whether they are owned by just you or jointly with another.

Assets that will fall to your estate would be things that are owned by just you.  For example;

  • Your jewellery
  • Your clothes
  • Your personal items, including phone, iPad etc
  • Your motor vehicle, if owned by just you
  • Superannuation, in some circumstances

If you own things jointly with another person, these things may automatically pass to the joint owner upon your death.  See our post on jointly owned property here.

Your estate will also be responsible for paying your bills that were left behind.  Your bills might include:

  • Your funeral costs
  • Your credit card
  • Your phone bill
  • Your loans
  • Your tax

Your executor/administrator will be responsible for gathering all information to realise all assets that owned and all the debts you have. They are also responsible for doing your tax returns and finalising all of your affairs.

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Judica SwiftWhat is an “Estate”?

Contesting Wills

by Judica Swift on March 18, 2014 Comments Off on Contesting Wills
  • Can anyone contest my Will?
  •   Can I stop someone contesting my Will?
  •   What do I need to know?

Not just anyone can contest your will, but each situation needs to be considered carefully. The law allows a certain category of people to contest a Will when they’ve been left out of or left little in a Will.  The law only provides this opportunity in some circumstances.  The category of people entitled to bring this kind of claim against someone’s estate, are:

  •   Spouses
  •   Children
  •   Dependents

A spouse, child or dependent of a deceased person who is left little or nothing in someone’s will, is entitled to bring a claim. However if someone contests a Will, a variety of things need to be considered, for example:

  •   Their financial situation
  •   Their health
  •   Their relationship with the deceased
  •   The size of the deceased’s estate

Whilst you cannot avoid this type of risk simply by writing it in your Will that no one can contest your Will, there may be other options to consider.

The best way to manage the risk of this happening to you is to get the right advice and get it now.  Too many times, we see people getting “stuck” in situations that may have been avoidable.

It is important to obtain legal advice about your situation and circumstances when preparing your Will or thinking about contesting a Will.  Each case is different.

If you have questions, please contact one of our Solicitors today.  Contact details can be found here.

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Judica SwiftContesting Wills