Respected and Trusted

Wills And Estates

  • Our experienced and trusted Wills and Estates team is comprised of two Wills and Estates
    Specialists who are dedicated to providing advice of the highest quality.

    Stephen Fries was admitted to practice in 2014. Following his admission he worked for a suburban law firm in a generalist role, gaining experience across a range of fields including Wills and Estates, Property and Commercial Law.
    In 2018 he joined the Aughtersons Wills and Estates team where he draws on his varied experience to provide clients with practical, results-focused advice.

    Tanya Briffa joined Aughtersons in 2004 and is a highly respected and valued member of our team.
    Having practises almost exclusively in the area of Wills and Estates, Tanya’s wealth of experience
    has enabled her to establish a reputable and extensive practice whose clients benefit from her
    expertise, professionalism and compassion.

    Stephen and Tanya will ensure your assets and interests are carefully protected and are administered in accordance with your wishes

    Our Wills and Estates services include:

    • Preparing valid and enforceable Wills, including Testamentary Trust Wills
    • Will reviews
    • Preparing valid and enforceable Enduring Powers of Attorney
    • Estate planning
    • Applications for grants of representation (Probate and Letters of Administration)
    • Applications for the re-seal of foreign Grants
    • Administration of deceased estates
    • Disputes regarding the validity of Wills
    • Claims in relation to deceased estates
    • Contesting Wills (family provision/testators family maintenance claims)
    • General advice regarding Wills and estate matters

    Stephen Fries
    Tanya Briffa


    What is an Executor?

    The Executor is the person(s) who has been named in the Will to administer the deceased person’s estate. The Executor is responsible for notifying all relevant authorities and asset holders, collecting the assets of the estate, paying any debts and expenses of the estate and distributing the assets in accordance with the Will.

    Do I need an Enduring Power of Attorney?

    An Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial) allows you to appoint a person(s) to handle your legal and financial affairs in the event of your incapacity. An Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) allows you to appoint a person to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to make those decisions yourself (by reason of being incapable of doing so). Your attorney must be at least 18 years of age and must have the capacity to act as your attorney.

    If you become unwell and require assistance in the management of your affairs, it is important that you have an Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial) in place. If not, the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) will appoint an Administrator to manage your legal and financial affairs. VCAT may not however, appoint your preferred person.

    What is a Grant of Probate?

    A Grant of Probate is a certificate granted by the Probate Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria confirming that the deceased’s will has been proved as valid and that authority to administer the estate has been granted to the Executor.

    What is a Grant of Letters of Administration?

    A Grant of Letters of Administration is a certificate granted by the Probate Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria when a person dies without leaving a valid Will. The certificate confers on the Administrator the powers and duties necessary to administer the estate according to the laws of Victoria which govern the distribution of property in the absence of a valid Will.

    How do I contest a Will?

    Pursuant to Victorian law, you must satisfy certain criteria in order to then be able to make a claim for further provision from the estate of a deceased person. Some of the factors taken into consideration include the nature and length of your relationship with the deceased person, the size and nature of the estate, your financial resources and earning capacity and any contributions made by you for the benefit of the deceased person. As claims of this nature are assessed on a case by case basis, please contact our office and a member of our Wills and Estates team will review your particular circumstances and provide you with the requisite advice.

    Why should I have a Will?

    A Will enables you to give clear instructions regarding the distribution of your property after your death. It allows you to give specific items of property to named beneficiaries and it enables you to appoint a guardian for any minor children. A Will also enables you to appoint the person(s) you trust to administer your estate in accordance with your wishes.

    If you die without having signed a valid Will, your property will be distributed in accordance with the legislative provisions and the distribution will be managed by a Court-appointed Administrator (who may not have been the person you would have preferred).

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Contact Us

Telephone: 03 9845 8200
Opening Hours: 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (Monday - Friday)
After hour appointments available on request
Address: 267 Maroondah Highway
Ringwood VIC 3134