Hartwell Legal

Hartwell Legal takes a comprehensive and holistic approach when creating a Will.

Katerina looks at all of the assets owned or controlled by the family, as well as the personal situations of the people involved. She, then, advises about the best way to structure the Will to suit your family’s unique needs.

Most people think the preparation of a Will is a simple process and the lawyer is simply a ‘mouthpiece’ for the client. In reality, it is much more complicated. Katerina will find out about all of the children and dependents involved and about all of the personal obligations of the willmaker. By taking into account the wishes of the willmaker and the variety and location of assets, Katerina is, then, able to advise the willmaker about his or her obligations and the best way to structure the Will.

Katerina explains what the court would say if the Will was presented to the court for comment (such as a result of dispute) and advises about the best way to achieve the desired outcome, optimal tax situation and to reduce the risk of a dispute.

It should also be noted - a Will does not cover all of a person’s assets. Wills only govern assets in the person’s sole personal name at the date of death.

For example:

  • jointly owned assets automatically pass to the surviving owner by operation of property law.
  • superannuation and life insurance are also not governed by the Will. These are governed by nominations delivered to the trustee of the superfund or insurer.
  • trust assets are governed by trust succession documents, which pass control of a trust, not of the assets themselves.

This is all taken into account when a Will is drafted.

Sometimes, there are circumstances where a person may not require a Will. This is valuable advice Katerina may provide for some clients’ specific circumstances.

Katerina will also advise you if your Will needs to be updated. Frequent circumstances when a Will should be updated are:

  • Birth or death of a beneficiary or close family member
  • Change in assets
  • Change in marital status (many people don’t realise marriage and divorce automatically revoke a Will! However, separation and financial settlements do not! Nor is a Will revoked by a de-facto relationship!)
  • Passing of time – your children are all grown up and do not need a guardian anymore! Or, the nominated guardian is no longer the right person for the job!
  • Someone moves in to live with you (a child, relative, partner, etc.)
Hartwell Legal Service Wills

Court Authorised Wills

Where a person does not have capacity to make a Will, but family or friends know the terms of the Will that the person would have made, Katerina can assist to obtain court's authorisation to make such a Will for the person without capacity.

This work is usually done by Katerina on an hourly rate basis.

In any case, you should talk to a lawyer about updating your Will every 2 – 5 years, as there may have been a change in the law that affects you!

Fixed Fees:

Standard Will – $550 (incl GST) per person

Complex Will – $990 (incl GST) per person – complex Wills involve trusts or ‘life interests’

For information about trusts in Wills - click here