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Wills, Trusts & Estates

Expert Experience in Every Aspect of Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning

Seitz & Pepper Lawyers have expert experience in every aspect of Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning for professionals, executives, business owners, family businesses, investors and retirees.


Managing your Succession Planning and the Distribution of your Estate

Our Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyers will equip you with a fundamental understanding of the law and present you with tailored options so that you can make informed decisions about the management of your legal concerns, including the succession planning and distribution of your estate.

Most importantly, we will ensure that your wishes and intentions are carried out in a legal and effective manner. 

Wills and Estate Planning

An effective Will is the most important way to ensure that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes. If you die without a Will (intestate), the law will determine how to distribute your estate. This can result in adverse outcomes that neither you nor your loved ones are happy with.

We understand the emotions and complexities that surrounds Wills & Estates, and we will help take the pain out of implementing the planning of your estate. We will work with you and your family to fully understand your personal and financial situation. In conjunction with your wishes, we will tailor a solution that meets your needs and objectives.

In addition to drafting your Will, our experienced lawyers will review family trusts or business structures, implement shareholder agreements or testamentary discretionary trusts, and prepare your Enduring Power of Attorney.

Our expertise includes:

  • Simple Wills through to complex Wills which incorporate testamentary trusts or charitable foundations.
  • Asset protection strategies.
  • Business and personal succession planning.
  • Family discretionary trusts.
  • Superannuation succession planning.

Enduring Power of Attorney

By establishing Enduring Powers of Attorney, our Wills and estates team will empower people you trust to take care of your affairs, in the event that you become mentally or physically incapacitated.

In Victoria there are three different types of Enduring Powers of Attorney, each dealing with a different aspect of your life management:

  • Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial) – for the management of your legal and financial affairs.
  • Enduring Power of Attorney (Personal) – for making lifestyle decisions on your behalf.
  • Medical Treatment Decision Maker – for making decisions about your medical treatment.

Seitz & Pepper Lawyers will assist you in preparing Enduring Powers of Attorney to ensure you have peace of mind about your future. We will guide you through the legal process, helping you to understand the different situations that may arise, to ensure you have given all necessary powers to your Attorney.

Our Wills & Estates team have deep level of knowledge dealing with a multitude of individual situations and our services in drafting and reviewing Enduring Powers of Attorney are underpinned by this experience.

We will also assist you if you are concerned about a person who holds an Enduring Power of Attorney for someone else and need assistance in revoking an Attorney.

Probate & Letters of Administration

In most circumstances, before the assets of the deceased person can be distributed in accordance to their Will, the executor shall require a grant of probate. This is is an order from the Supreme Court that authenticates the Will and authorizes the nominated ‘executor’ of the Will to distribute the estate.

If you die without a Will, or the Executors appointed by your Will are unable to act, the Supreme Court will need to issue Letters of Administration.

Seitz & Pepper Lawyers will assist you or your family in obtaining simple or complex Grants of Probate, Letters of Administration or lodge a caveat where you with to stop a Grant of Probate.

In complex cases where the estate is to be distributed to beneficiaries in different countries, or where assets reside in separate countries, our Wills & Estates team have the resources to ensure the process remains manageable.

Estate Administration

If you are the executor of a Will or administrator of an estate, Seitz & Pepper Lawyers will assist you in the administration of that estate. We will provide you with advice and guidance, or alternatively we will manage the entire administration process for you, no matter how complex your situation.

Our experienced Wills & Estates team will help you with managing the most simple to complex estates. When beneficiaries or assets are overseas and subject to international laws, our international network ensures we can assist you.

Our expertise includes:

  • Dealing with disgruntled or difficult beneficiaries.
  • Defending claims against the estate.
  • Securing estate assets.
  • Recovering debts owed to the estate.
  • Preparing administration accounts and records.
  • Foreign assets and beneficiaries.
  • Executor’s commission.
  • Tax-related matters.
  • Preparing distribution statements for beneficiaries.
  • Complying with statutory duties.
  • Transfer or sale of real personal property.
  • Preparing deeds of family arrangement.

Guardianship & Administration

Where an enduring powers of attorney does not exist, and a person suffers from a disability and cannot make decisions about either their financial affairs or lifestyle, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) can appoint an Administrator or Guardian to make decisions on that person’s behalf.

Disability can arise unexpectedly and can result from a decline in mental capacity, intellectual impairment, physical disability or an acquired brain injury.

An appointed Administrator will make legal and financial decisions, whilst a Guardian will make lifestyle decisions, including where the person lives, who can visit them and whether they should be permitted to work.

Our services includes:

  • Advising on guardianship and administration orders.
  • Preparing VCAT applications.
  • Reassessment hearings.
  • Appearing at mediation and VCAT hearings.
  • Breach of duties.
  • Recovery of misappropriated funds.

Trust Disputes

Trusts are a legal instrument that are used for the management of assets, and can be established for commercial or personal purposes. A trust can be established during a person’s lifetime (as an inter vivo trust) or can be set up as a testamentary trust as part of the person’s Will.

The financial and legal benefits to establishing a trust are generally the same whether set up during the person’s lifetime or upon death of an individual, through a Will. Although trusts may be established with the best intentions, sometimes the beneficiaries of the trust will be in conflict.

Seitz & Pepper Lawyers has extensive experience in managing and resolving trust disputes. In some cases, we deal with disputes at the time the trust is being set up, whilst other disputes may arise during the administration of the trust.

Further complexity in the administration of trusts can arise when assets or beneficiaries reside in a different country. We will help you or your beneficiaries resolve your disputes and shall work to achieve the outcome you want.

Our expertise includes:

  • Trust formation and advice.
  • Trustees’ powers.
  • Breaches of trustees’ duties.
  • Beneficiary rights and entitlements.
  • Appointment and removal of trustees.

Will Disputes

Seitz & Pepper Lawyers will help you resolve your Will dispute by representing your interests and sorting out even the most complex of situations.

Whether you are contesting a Will, challenging a Will, questioning the validity of a Will or removing an executor, our Wills and estates team have the experience you need to work through the many aspects of the dispute.

In an ever-shrinking world, this means we will work with our international partners and experts to get the information and actions you need to achieve the result you want. We will minimize the stress and work effectively to get an outcome as quickly as possible, in the most cost-effective manner.

Our services includes:

  • Disputes of/and contested Wills.
  • Validity of a Will.
  • Undue influence and improper conduct.
  • Breaches of executors’ duties.
  • Removal of executors.
  • Cy-près applications.
  • Interpretation of Wills.
  • Informal Wills.