Estate Planning

Kott Gunning delivers a comprehensive estate planning service to its clients. We’re able to assist any kind of client – from those requiring simple estate plans to those in need of more complex arrangements, such as Wills establishing tax effective and asset protecting testamentary trusts or special disability trusts.

Our Wills & Estates team advise on all aspects of estate planning including:

  • Preparation of Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Guardianship and Advance Health Directives
  • Establishing, reviewing, varying and administering discretionary and unit trusts
  • Capital gains tax and transfer duty advice
  • Business and succession planning advice
  • Advice and estate planning in light of potential Family Court issues for beneficiaries and potential or expected family provision claims
  • Appointment of guardians and administrators under the Guardianship and Administration Act

Kott Gunning has a broad range of clients of all sizes, including farming families, trustee companies, charitable foundations and small and medium enterprises. We have established relationships with a number of financial advisory and accounting firms whose clients we support with wills and estate planning advice.

Contentious Deceased Claims & Litigation

We are seeing an increasing public willingness to engage in contentious deceased estate litigation, often arising from complex family dynamics, increasing wealth and asset value and the importance of upholding a deceased’s testamentary intention.

Most commonly, deceased Estate litigation involves:

  • Contesting a Will under the Family Provision Act 1974
  • Challenging a Will, based on grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, a later Will, undue influence or fraud
  • Concerns about an executor or administrator’s actions, in complying with the terms of the Will, the law and their duties and responsibilities in acting in that capacity
  • Executors or administrator’s complying with their duties and obligations or seeking the Court’s direction about those duties and obligations or distribution of assets

At Kott Gunning we have a broad range of experience in deceased estate litigation, in acting for all interested parties, whether that be for executors, administrators, beneficiaries and applicants under the Family Provision Act 1974 (WA).  Our team can assist with:

  • Advice about the validity of Wills arising from capacity issues, undue influence, informal wills or disputes between co-executors
  • Contested probate and administration proceedings, including proof of Wills in solemn form;
  • Claims under the Family Provision Act, whether that be as an executor defending a claim or as an applicant seeking provision from a deceased estate
  • Claims by or against executors and administrators
  • Proceeding under the Trustees Act
  • State Administrative Tribunal proceedings under the Guardianship and Administration Act in relation to the management of a person’s affairs and the appointment of guardians and administrators
  • Superannuation death benefits entitlements and disputes
  • Capital gains tax issues arising from estate and trust property

Estate Administration

Kott Gunning has a strong and well established estate administration service. We regularly act as executor of estates, for clients who require an independent professional to take on this role. We also assist many clients who themselves are executors or administrators of estate, ensuring they carry out their roles properly and professionally. Settling an estate can take anywhere between six months and several years to administer, depending on its size, the age of the beneficiaries and whether any disputes arise. Our clients find our assistance navigating this process invaluable.

Kott Gunning can assist with:

  • Simple Probate applications
  • Complicated Probate applications, including applications where an original Will is lost
  • Applications for Letters of Administration where a person has died without a Will or where the executor named in a Will cannot act
  • Assisting executors and administrators administer the estate, including liaising with creditors of the estate and claiming assets of the estate
  • Giving advice on the obligations of executors and administrators
  • Passing of accounts