Wills & Estates Law

At Diamond Conway, our Wills and Estates department includes an accredited specialist and other practitioners who have assisted clients in this area for over 40 years. We are renowned for our work in this area, having assisted generations of families and having run numerous successful cases. Our team has for several years been recognised in the Doyles Guide as experts. We can competently guide and advise you in all aspects of estate planning, administration and litigation.

For expert advice, call 02 9222 8000 to speak to one of our Specialist team today.

Deceased Estate and Trust Administration

Uncontested Applications for Probate and Letters of Administration.
When someone dies leaving property in New South Wales, an application must usually be made to the Supreme Court of New South Wales (except in very small estates) for a grant of probate or letters of administration. This gives the applicant the right to administer the estate and imposes certain duties and obligations on them. If these duties are not properly fulfilled, then the executor or administrator may be held personally responsible for any loss to the beneficiaries of the estate.
We can assist you with all aspects of estate administration, including:

  • Applications to obtain authority to administer and distribute an estate pursuant to a formal Will, an informal Will or where there is no Will at all (Probate or Letters of Administration)
  • Family Agreements to alter the distribution of assets that would otherwise occur pursuant to the deceased’s Will or the rules of intestacy
  • The duties and responsibilities involved in administering estates and testamentary trusts, including charitable trusts
  • The preparation of estate accounts
  • Claims for commission for the work performed in administering the estate
Estate Litigation

Contested Applications for Probate or Letters of Administration
We can assist you when there is a dispute over the application for probate or letters of administration, including disputes about:

  • Who should have the authority to administer the estate
  • Whether any document or recording constitutes a will
  • Which of a number of documents or recordings constitutes the deceased’s last will


Applications for a Court-made Will for a minor or for a person who lacks testamentary capacity
If a person is a minor or lacks capacity to make a will, and the distribution of their estate outlined in their last valid will or following the laws of intestacy (where there is no valid will) would not reflect their likely wishes, then an application can be made to the Supreme Court of New South Wales to make a will, or a new will, for them. We can offer you expert assistance with applications like this. In fact, Diamond Conway ran the first successful application of that type.

Family Provision Claims

Certain people are eligible to make a claim to the Court for provision from an estate, if:

  • the deceased has made inadequate provision for them or no provision for them at all
  • the claim is brought within the relevant time limit or is otherwise permitted by the Court.

These are the most common type of claim for a share of an estate. We have acted for many plaintiffs and many defendants in both small and large estates and in simple and very complex ones.

Other Estate Litigation

We can also assist you with all other types of estate litigation, including making or defending claims:

  • That the deceased:
    • did not know or approve of the contents of the Will
    • did not have the requisite mental capacity to make a Will
    • was subject to fraud or undue influence when making the Will
    • that an executor, administrator or trustee has breached their fiduciary duties to a beneficiary of an estate
    • relating to the construction/interpretation and rectification of a Will
  • For commission for the work involved in administering the estate.
Estate Planning

Estate Planning is the process of assisting you arrive at decisions about what happens to your assets, rights and obligations, both personal and business, on death or loss of competency. At Diamond Conway, we have great depth of experience in helping people arrive at the best decisions for themselves and their family. We prepare the right legal documents to ensure your decisions will be implemented should the need arise.

Very Effective Process
We follow a personal and very effective process that allows us to understand all your relevant background details, objectives, issues or concerns. We outline your options for addressing specific concerns and help you arrive at decisions on what is to happen should you die or lose competency. Over the years, we have addressed a very broad range of clients’ concerns. For example:

  • Business succession
  • Tax efficiency
  • Asset protection
  • Equity between family members
  • Avoiding disputes
  • Containing the impact where a dispute is inevitable
  • Trust succession
  • Maximising superannuation benefits
  • Potential ‘Blended family’ conflicts
  • Vulnerable beneficiaries

Collaborative Approach
Where called for, we prefer to work with your accountant or financial planner to ensure your Plan is appropriate from all perspectives.

Quality Legal Documents

Put simply, our documents do what they are meant to do. Our Wills, Enduring Power of Attorney appointments, Enduring Guardian appointments and all other documents follow plain language principles.

Business Succession
Many business owners hold a good deal of their wealth in their business. It is essential to ensure that value is transferred to the right hands should the business principal die or lose competency. Without a strong business succession plan, the value can be lost. Diamond Conway has considerable experience in:

  • understanding business dynamics
  • understanding the succession issues relevant to particular business entity arrangements
  • developing strategies (and the required implementation documents) that would deliver the right outcome should the need arise.

Estate Disputes
The best estate disputes between family members are the ones that don’t happen.
When we are preparing estate plans for our clients, we look for potential problems and put forward strategies aimed at either:

  • avoiding the dispute completely, or
  • mitigating its impact on both the people you care for and the end value of the estate.

Estate Planning can be a complex and emotional process, but Diamond Conway Lawyers have the expertise and understanding that will lead to the most beneficial results possible in your case.

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