Wills, Estates and Powers of Attorney

These are some of the most common areas of law where people require professional advice, given that they affect everyone.

Wills:

As there is no legal obligation to make a Will, many people do not address this critical issue when they should.  Failure to make a valid Will can have a dramatic effect upon your family and relatives resulting in you dying 'intestate' which will likely mean your assets are distributed according to a rigid legal formula set out by the Government.  This may mean that your family, loved ones and in particular children under the age of 18 years may not receive the protection or benefits that you would have wished for them.

The services provided by MDL Law range from preparing a simple Will, tailored to your individual needs, from $220 (incl. GST) through to advice and preparation of a Will incorporating a Testamentary Trust from $550 (incl. GST).

We believe that the comfort of knowing your wishes are in place, coupled with our competitive prices, ensure that all members of our community can afford to exercise their right to direct their final wishes and make sure that such wishes are as valid, clear and binding as the Law allows.

Once a Will has been made, we recommend that it be reviewed on a regular basis, especially when significant financial or family changes occur such as marriage or divorce which may automatically invalidate certain parts of your Will.

Your original Will can be held in our safe (without charge) indefinitely.

Powers of Attorney:

MDL Law can also assist you in relation to Powers of Attorney.

Powers of Attorney enable you to appoint someone of your choice to manage your affairs and generally look after you if you become incapacitated through accident, illness or for any other reason.

Recent changes to the laws relating to Powers of Attorney mean that the person you choose as your Attorney for financial and personal care (previously guardianship), as well as the person appointed to deal with medical issues can be tailored to suit your individual circumstances by only commencing ___ to upon certain events happening or in certain circumstances.

It is crucial that you obtain the benefit of professional advice so as to enable you to make a fully informed decision as to which type or combination of Powers of Attorney are right for you.

Summary:

Having MDL Law professionally prepare your Will and Powers of Attorney will provide you with the ‘peace of mind’ that comes from knowing that your affairs are in order.

Probate Applications and Administration of Deceased Estates:

Issues often arise in relation to Probate Applications and the Administration of Deceased Estates.

Where a well-intentioned relative or friend has been appointed as executor and trustee, this may mean that they are forced to wrestle with difficult issues at a time when they are still grieving and are therefore understandably reluctant to deal with the problems that frequently arise with these complex areas of law.

Probate is the process of proving and registering, in the Supreme Court of Victoria, the last Will of a Deceased person.  When a person dies, it is usually the Executor appointed in the Will who administers the Estate and handles the disposal of their assets in accordance with the terms of the Will.

 MDL Law can help Executors and Trustees obtain a Grant of Probate and then perform their administration duties professionally and legally.  We understand that it can be a very difficult time when you are faced with the responsibility of trying to administer a Deceased Estate and we can help you through the process.  Many people find this process to be a very daunting prospect given that the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court can be quite rigid.  MDL Law can assist you by ensuring that all documentation is quickly, properly and professionally prepared so as to make the whole process as streamlined and stress free as possible.

If you are the Executor and Trustee of a Will, you must understand your duties and be informed in detail about your rights and responsibilities as an Executor and Trustee.

Defending or Challenging a Will:

MDL Law also has considerable experience in providing advice to Executors and Trustees who have the challenging task of defending a Will which can be an involved process.  You will benefit from our experience to ensure you get the correct advice and avoid unnecessary stress, delay and expense.

Similarly, if you are intending to challenge a Will, or the manner in which an Estate is proposed to be distributed, it is absolutely critical that before you do so, you obtain professional advice from us. We are fully experienced in this area of law and can assist you in exploring the issues involved and advising you as to the viability of achieving the outcome you are seeking.

Claims Against Deceased Estates (Part IV Claims):

Where a person believes that they have been unfairly left out of a Will, or believe that they are entitled to a greater share of the Estate than that which is left to them in the Will, they may be able to make a claim for provision (or further provision) from the Estate of the Deceased – this is commonly called a ‘Part IV Claim’.

However, if you are proposing to make a Part IV Claim, it is imperative that you obtain professional advice as early as possible, given that the rules relating to who is eligible to make a Part IV Claim, as well as the rules relating to who bears the costs associated with such a Claim, have changed significantly in recent times.

Please note that statutory time limits apply to Part IV Claims