Will and Estates

Wills and Estate Planning

Russell Kennedy Aitken Lawyers provides comprehensive advice regarding a broad range of estate planning matters and also trust law, and succession planning. We are trusted legal advisors to privately owned businesses and high net worth individuals.

As experienced wills and estates lawyers, we’re proud to have maintained relationships with clients through successive generations. We provide comprehensive strategic advice for estate and business succession planning.

One of the most valuable outcomes of considered estate planning is peace of mind. We can guide you through a range of issues that can arise when preparing a comprehensive estate plan, help you to weigh up different options, work through the importance of each of the roles involved, and create a plan that reflects your individual circumstances, philosophies and wishes.

The Russell Kennedy Wills and Estate planning team works closely with our clients’ accounting, tax and financial advisors to determine the best business and investment structure to meet your needs.

Trust Administration

We’ve been entrusted with the administration of Trusts and Wills for generations, a responsibility we take incredibly seriously. Our team’s skills allow us to ensure that the provisions of the Trust Deed or Testamentary Trusts in a Will are adhered to, the philosophy and intention of the donor/settlor are honoured, and importantly relationships between family members and other beneficiaries are preserved.

Executor of a Will

Being Executor of a Will requires someone with the skillset and willingness to execute an important task on behalf of someone who has passed away. We understand that it can be a challenging time when you have been appointed as an Executor. Our vast experience allows us to guide you through the estate administration process with sensitivity of expertise.

Beneficiaries with special needs

Providing adequate protection for beneficiaries with special needs can be a sensitive and complex task. It’s often considered problematic to give complete responsibility for a testamentary trust to the beneficiary personally. Including a Protective Trust in your Will may be prudent if you’re nominating beneficiaries who:

  • are severely disabled
  • have a disability which impacts on their ability to look after their affairs (for instance, autism, Asperger’s, etc.)
  • have an addiction (such as gambling or drugs)
  • are otherwise considered ‘vulnerable’.
Contesting a Will

While a comprehensive estate plan gives you confidence that your affairs will be appropriately looked after, debts paid and your beneficiaries receive what you want them to, unfortunately, sometimes a Will may be contested. Our team is well placed to assist you with handling estate disputes and claims over deceased estates. We act mainly for Executors but sometimes for claimants when unfairly treated. 

Business succession planning

Having a succession plan in place will support a smooth transition for your business when you decide to leave. It’s prudent to start business succession planning years ahead of when you intend to leave the business – having a plan in place is particularly useful if there’s an unexpected event. We assist clients with preparing shareholder agreements, business structures, and advice on the options available whether within a family group or outside.

Family business succession planning

Proactive succession planning will ensure the wealth of a family business transitions smoothly to the next generation. Ideally, a succession plan should be considered early in the life of the business and regularly revised as the business matures and circumstances change. We understand that family business succession planning can raise difficult emotional, financial, legal and tax issues, and approach this task with sensitivity and discretion.


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What is involved in acting as an executor of an estate?

17 Dec 2018

So your loved one or friend has passed away and you have just found out that you are appointed their executor. You have no idea what that means and what the role entails. Here is what you need to know ...


Choosing the Right Executor

20 Nov 2018

Choosing the right executor isn’t necessarily difficult but in this blog we’ve put together some tips to make it easier.


Can you “set and forget” your estate plan?

9 Oct 2018

A well-crafted Estate plan can be flexible enough to work for a number of years. It can be drafted to have “one eye on the present” and “half an eye on the future”. But even the best laid plans can ...