Wills Estates Planning Litigation
Swanwick Murray Roche – Rockhampton & CQ Lawyers & Solicitors
Our wills estates planning & litigation lawyers & solicitors are based in Rockhampton and service Queensland. Since 1892, we have provided services to families and individuals to give peace of mind, clear understanding of risks and estate issues and empathy and straightforward direction in estate disputes. Our services include (but are not limited to) the following services:
- estate planning
- rural family succession planning
- business succession planning
- drafting your last will & testament
- applying for a court-ordered will
- enduring power of attorney
- advance health directive
- disputing a will/family provision applications
- estate administration services
- dealing with debts owed by estates
For any matter involving a Will, estate or planning issue; our process is usually as follows:
- Step One: Contact our Office
- At this initial contact, we will arrange an appointment that suits you (and any other people involved).
- Depending on the matter, we can usually give an indication of costs.
- We can provide you with some general information to help you gather information and prepare for the appointment.
- Step Two: Meeting
- At this meeting, you tell us your situation and circumstances.
- We then ask questions to clarify the issues and discover the information needed so that we can provide you with advice.
- By the end of the appointment, we will be able to confirm the plan and steps to resolve your issue or finalise your matter, give you an estimate of costs and give you some estimates of timeframes for completion of the works.
- Step Three: Plan Implemented
- In this stage, we implement the plan with you with a view to resolving your matter as quickly as possible.
Every matter is different. We have provided some estimates for each service on the respective page. For all other matters, we can provide a quote by telephone or upon consideration of your issues (i.e. after the meeting).
Some estate litigation matters, we will perform on a no-win, no-fee basis. If this applies to you, we will have that discussion.
We are often asked for our opinion on “free wills”, “make your own will kits”, “what if I write my own will”, “self-prepared wills”. To this, we say:
- for lawyers, it’s more than “drafting a will” – after a will drafting appointment, clients will often understand that the important involvement of a lawyer is not merely drafting documents – more so, the role is to investigate your circumstances and provide you with legal advice about possible legal issues in your estate. This could range from anything – potential legal challenges on your estate, undocumented loans, issues around capacity, whether you own property in such a way that you can transfer it under your will, whether you are legally entitled to gift an asset. The importance of having a lawyer draft the will is for the lawyer to advise you about whether the will can be implemented or not.
- cost and expense – there are a number of cases where self-prepared Wills haven’t been prepared properly or circumstances haven’t been properly considered. The duty of the executor is to uphold the will. If the will is unclear, the executor may need to apply to the court for directions (otherwise, the executor may be sued by beneficiaries). Such an application could cost more than $7000 (very roughly). Its great business for lawyers, but terrible for an estate where the person thought they were saving a bit of cash doing it themselves.
- there’s usually a catch – there are a few companies promoting that they do “free wills”. Often, the company is also the executor of the Will. After death, they carry out the role of the executor and charge large fees and take far longer than a family member might. If they are not the executor, unwary family members may be enticed into having the company administer the will with lack of transparency around fees and long delays being the most often complaint we hear.
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