Wills, Estate Planning & Probate

Basic Wills

Our team at Norman Waterhouse provides a personal, empathetic and professional service in the areas of Will preparation, succession planning, personal asset management and estate administration. Our reputation has been created over many years. We are proud of our association with many Australian families, an association that in some cases embraces several generations.
 
The simple steps required to complete your Will are:
  1. Fill out the Wills Instruction form (click here to download and complete the form online or here for a printable version)

  2. Return the form via post, email or fax to:

    Post to:

    Lavinia Robbiano
    Senior Probate Clerk
    Norman Waterhouse Lawyers
    GPO Box 639
    Adelaide  SA  5001

    Or email to lrobbiano@normans.com.au

    Or fax to (08) 8210 1234.

  3. We will contact you to provide a quotation for our services and if you are happy to proceed, we will send you your Will in draft format for your approval.

  4. Once you have approved the draft of your Will, we will make an appointment to see you to sign the documents.

Complex Wills

Complex wills can be more expensive given the additional time and care taken to ensure your will is drafted in accordance with your specific needs and circumstances. Deciding whether you require a complex will largely depends on the size of your estate and how you wish to leave your assets. A complex will may be appropriate where:
  • You want to manage your money after your death. For example, establishing a trust that provides income for your children and then transfers the property to your grandchildren after the death of your children.
  • You need to establish a special needs trust for a disabled child of yours.
  • You have children with a previous spouse and want to ensure that they are financially looked after.
  • You own a business.
  • You suspect that someone may challenge your will after your death.

What are the risks associated with ‘off the shelf’ and online Will Kits?

Some Will kits and on line Wills are very inexpensive, as little as $20. Many companies which provide these make it compulsory to appoint them as executor or have other conditions attached. Many Trustee companies charge a commission for administering your estate based on the net asset value of your assets e.g. If the Trustee company charges a 5% commission on a $300,000 estate your fee will be $15,000 which is deducted from the Estate.
 
A Will Kit document may not be valid if any part is incomplete or incorrect.
 
A Will Kit cannot replace the expert advice of a qualified legal practitioner.

Probate & Administration of estates

When a person dies the executor appointed in their Will has to deal with their estate by collecting in their assets (money, shares, investments, real property, motor vehicles, furnishings and effects etc) and paying any debts. They must then distribute what is left to those people entitled to it pursuant to the deceased’s Will.

Probate is the legal authority which is given to a person to administer a deceased person’s estate and the document issued by the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court of South Australia is called a “Grant of Probate”. This document is usually required by banks, the Lands Titles Office, motor vehicle registration department and the like as proof to show the correct person has the authority to administer a deceased person’s estate in accordance with the deceased’s Will.

Once Probate has been granted, we can further assist you by administering the estate on your behalf. Administration can be timely depending on the complexity of the assets and liabilities of the estate. Fortunately, the team at Norman Waterhouse are thoroughly experienced in this area and can ensure that the estate is administered efficiently.

Litigation/Estate Claims

Doyle’s Guide has recognised Norman Waterhouse as one of Adelaide’s highly ranked firms for Wills and Estate Litigation and our Senior Consultant Brendan Murray as one of Adelaide’s highly ranked practitioners in this field. Brendan has extensive expertise and abilities in assisting executors and trustees administering estates the subject of a claim, supporting beneficiaries in defending claims and advising claimants in relation to their potential claims against a deceased estate.

Our Wills, Estate Planning & Probate Specialists