Legal Experience to Suit your Needs
The founder of the practice Terry Johansson, has been practising law for almost 40 years.
Terry has assembled an excellent team of wills and probate lawyers within CWPL, and the team draws on its extensive experience in estate litigation, backed up by our wealth of experience in tax, trusts, commercial law, and property work.
CWPL are here to get the best results for you and we tailor our service to suit your needs.
Will and Probate Issues
There are many types of problems people have in administering estates, but the main ones fall under the following headings:
Contesting a Will
This process is also called “Challenging a Will” or “Disputing a Will”.
If you feel you have been unfairly cut out of a Will, and that a person who has died had an obligation to provide for you and has not made adequate provision for you, CWPL can help claim your inheritance for you.
You will need to fit into a category of claimants in the State where the claim is made, and we can guide you on that. Click here for a list of Eligible Claimants for each State. Ask CWPL if you qualify; sometimes you might, even if it is not obvious from the list.
As well as seeking payment from the estate, we will also seek payment from any superannuation fund, insurance policy, or trust, where that is possible, to provide you with the best result.
Most claims we conduct result in favourable outcomes for our clients, without a court hearing.
Click here for further information on how to contest a will. Remember strict time limits apply.
Sometimes the dispute is whether or not a Will is valid. This occurs while there is the will in probate, and the claim is to contest probate.
This can arise when somebody has made a Will and there is doubt about whether they had “legal capacity”, or whether they were wrongfully pressured into making the Will (“undue influence”). There are also other factors which may invalidate a will.
By disputing a probate application and lodging a probate caveat, CWPL can help to prevent an invalid Will being registered for Probate, so that the Will which you believe is valid can often be registered instead.
If there is no will, CWPL will act to ensure that the assets are passed to the family under the Intestacy Rules.
We analyse which is the best solution for you, and work to ensure that the assets are distributed in the most appropriate manner.
Do not delay: Once a will has been accepted in probate, it may be impractical to contest the will.
Superannuation and Insurance Claims
Sometimes a person who wishes to make a claim against the Will does not fit into the category of Eligible Claimants and cannot Contest the Will in order to receive payment.
We often find that we can make alternative claims against the deceased person’s superannuation fund, insurance policy, or a trust of which the deceased had been in control.
Often this is done at the same time as contesting a Will.
With CWPL you will know that we will explore all avenues for you, and collect all of the assets that should pass to you as a consequence of the deceased’s death.
Will Interpretation and Correcting Wills
Sometimes a Will is drawn badly, or things have been omitted, so that a Court ruling is needed as to how the Will should be interpreted.
We can apply to the court for you, and if the court agrees, this will alter how the estate is to be distributed, and our clients may then benefit. Without this claim they usually would have received less, or even nothing.
If you believe that a Will has not been correctly drawn, we will enforce all your rights to have the correct interpretation placed in the Will.
Defending an Estate from Claims
With its wealth of experience in managing claims against estates, CWPL is an excellent choice to help you defend an estate against a claim.
Executors who believe a claim is likely, should seek immediate legal advice, to put the estate in the best position.
CWPL will advise the executor and the beneficiaries on the strength of the possible claim, and we would do our best to minimise the amount the estate must pay to any claimant.
CWPL will not run a case into Court, if it is better to settle. CWPL will advise you if an early, out of Court settlement is better for the estate, and the beneficiaries. We will do our best to settle the claim on terms that are acceptable to you.
If a court hearing is necessary, with CWPL you know that you have a great team of lawyers on your side: lawyers who are skilled experts in what they do.
For some people, the problem is getting the executor to do their job properly. In this instance we would clarify what your entitlements are, and enforce all of your rights to participate in the deceased’s assets, by having the estate wound up in an orderly manner. Usually legal proceedings are not required.
Legal Proceedings or Mediation?
Terry Johansson, our Principal, is a skilled and expert mediator.
If you come to CWPL, you know that we will do our best to settle your claim out of court, on terms acceptable to you, and will not take the claim to Court unnecessarily. This can save an enormous amount of money, and reduce the risk of litigation for all parties concerned.
Claims can be settled out of court by conducting a mediation – a meeting between the parties with an independent mediator who tries to bring about an agreement. This is sometimes called a will mediation.
If it turns out that it is necessary for your case to be taken to a Court hearing to achieve the best result, then we will do so.
As one of the leading firms in this area of work, we can assemble an excellent team of barristers and mediators for you, in whichever State the case may be conducted.
We also know which mediators would best suit your case.
You should not be nervous about getting involved with unnecessary litigation. CWPL has an excellent track record in settling our client’s claims without a Court hearing, leading to greatly reduced legal costs, and a better outcome for all.
Applying for Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration
If there is a Will, or somebody died without a Will (an intestacy), we can apply for a Grant of Probate or Administration to be made to you, to give you control of the estate.
With CWPL you know that if anything goes wrong, or a problem arises, that you have experts looking after you, and that we will be in a position to sort out the problems as quickly and conveniently as possible.
If you live overseas with a legal problem anywhere in Australia, you will find that our international focus will make your case all that much easier to deal with.
You can often meet with one of our lawyers in Australia, or in London if that is more convenient.
As an international firm, distance is no problem for CWPL!
No Win/No Fee Lawyers
One of the biggest problems for people dealing with estate litigation is that most solicitors will ask for fees in advance, and this prevents many people who are entitled to claim, from being able to enforce their inheritance rights.
After an assessment, we are usually able to tell you whether we can offer a No Win No Fee arrangement to you. If so, you know that you usually will not need to pay any expenses from your own pocket.
An extra fee is payable for this service, as permitted by Australian laws.
Quick on the Spot Assessment
If you contact CWPL, arrangements will be made for you to speak to our very experienced senior staff, who are able to give you a prompt preliminary assessment of your case.
You will then find out whether or not there are any problems, the strength of your case, and how likely you are to be successful.
Signed: Terry Johansson