Wills & Estates

For expert estate planning including Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney & Guardianships, testamentary trusts and retirement village contracts, as well as skilled deceased estate management and advice.

Talk to our Wills & Estates team for good advice and Fixed Fee services.

Estate planning

We cannot know what the future holds, so how to plan for the unknown? The good news is that skilled estate planning can give you certainty about protecting your assets and providing for your loved ones.

The SHG estate planning process has been developed using our experience helping clients to achieve the outcomes they want. We can give you the tools to achieve your estate planning outcomes too.

Estate planning is more than talking about money. It can include your business succession issues or we can advise you about testamentary trust mechanisms to protect your personal relationships as well as your assets.

Your Will

We want everyone to have a Will. Even a very simple Will can save those you leave behind a lot of time and money.

The SHG Wills & Estates team has decades of experience and knows how to draft the right Will for your circumstances. Our priority is to give you confidence that your wishes can be carried out effectively.

Do you already have a Will, but it was made a long time ago? Most Wills are prepared to last for a long time. If you are not sure, or if your circumstances have changed significantly over the years, we are always available for an initial conversation to work out if an updated Will is needed.

Your family or financial circumstances maybe very complex, but the SHG Wills & Estates team can work with you to put in place the right Will, in plain language.

Overseas Assets

Many families have overseas assets and beneficiaries to include in their estate planning. We can advise you on how to make sure your intentions are carried out.

Whether this means advising you on the wording for a second, foreign will; or working with international lawyers, the SHG Wills & Estates team can give you solutions.

Enduring Powers of Attorney & Guardianship appointments

We want to make sure that you are protected when you can’t make decisions for yourself, whether for the short term or long-term future.

The forms of Enduring Powers of Attorney and Guardianship appointments are different for each state and territory. The SHG Wills & Estates team can answer your questions about these documents. We can give you effective advice and prepare ACT and NSW enduring powers of attorney and/or appointments of enduring guardians that give you security in times you need it most.

Tribunal proceedings

What happens when your loved one can’t make their own decisions, but they have not appointed anyone to assist? The solution is usually to ask the ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal or NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to make an order appointing an individual or trustee to step in.

The Tribunals can also make changes to existing powers of attorney or guardianship appointments that are not effective.

This can be a stressful situation and we are well placed to advise you about which steps to take.

Deceased Estate administration

The SHG Wills & Estates team provides clear advice delivered with caring, personal attention in all estate administration matters.

We will set out the processes which apply to each matter, including:

  • applications for ACT Supreme Court and NSW Supreme Court grants of Probate or Letters of Administration, if required
  • advice about invalid Wills or when a Will can’t be effective for the whole estate
  • advice about intestate estates where there is no Will
  • advice to Executors about their role and duties
  • advice to Beneficiaries about their rights
  • collecting and distribution of assets
  • working with accountants and other financial advisers.

For all interested parties, we will provide up front costs information and provide quotes for fixed fees early in the process.

Will challenges and Estate disputes

The lawyers in the SHG Wills & Estates team can advise you about a claim against a Will or estate. We have many years of experience in estate litigation, mediation and we know how to solve estate disputes.

Whether you are an executor, beneficiary, family member or friend of the deceased, we will give you considered advice and options about what you can do about the disputed Will or estate.

Our advice will always consider the impact on family relationships and we will be realistic about the financial costs. It is our practice to communicate clearly and openly with our clients in an estate dispute to explain all the possible outcomes.

You can read more about family provision claims here.

Retirement village contracts

If you decide to move into a retirement village, the contracts can be overwhelming and confusing. Operators use a variety of occupancy options; it’s important to be aware of the legal consequences involved in retirement village contracts.

We can explain the effect of the arrangements that you’re considering.

Contact the SHG Wills & Estate team if you are considering a move to a retirment village.

You can find out more about the different retirement village contracts in the ACT and learn the top tips when evaluating retirement villages here.

Meet your Wills, Estates & Elder Law team

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We were so happy with the work that the Wills & Estates Team at Snedden Hall & Gallop have done to finalise my late father’s estate. We have found the firm’s services to be efficient and thorough. A special thanks to Margaret Young for her consistent engagement and ensuring all items were resolved when any issues arose. The team at Snedden Hall & Gallop provided us with invaluable advice and great support during this difficult time. We would highly recommend the team to other prospective clients.

Anonymous (Wills & Estates – Nov 2020)

9 November 2020

‘Stranded’ in a nursing home at the time of my wife’s death, I needed assistance with regard to tidying up her affairs and obtaining probate on her will.

I was more than satisfied with the help provided by SHG in these matters which, among other things, included visits to me when face to face dealing was required.

I would not hesitate to use this firm again should the need arise.

G Cleverly (Wills & Estates 1)

30 May 2017

Being confined to a nursing home, I was more than happy with the assistance provided by the legal firm Snedden Hall & Gallop, in regard to the closure and transfer of my late wife’s bank account.

This service, in conjunction with previous assistance from this firm to a stranded client, has ensured that I would not go elsewhere should I have a future need.

G Cleverly (Wills & Estates 2)

22 March 2018

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02 6285 8000