Peaceful Resolutions to Estate Disputes

Peaceful Resolutions to Estate Disputes

FREE eBook

Learn my top 10 tips to keep your family’s estate dispute out of court.
I Can’t Find a Will – Now What?

I can’t find a will – Now what?

FREE eBook

Tips on where to look, what to look for and what steps need to be taken if you can’t find a will.
I am named Exector, Now What?

I am named executor. Now what?

FREE eBook

Discover your role and responsibilities and the first three steps you need to take.
Executor's Checklist

Executor’s Checklist

FREE resource

A list of the basic steps to be taken when administering an estate.
Administrator's Checklist

Administrator’s Checklist

FREE eBook

Your checklist to help you work through the estate administration process.

Executor's Checklist

How to Re-Imagine your Future

FREE resource

This eBook is designed to help you in the process of identifying your values to then make values-based decisions.
Rest in Peace: How to manage an estate dispute without inheriting heartache

Rest in Peace: How to manage an estate dispute without inheriting heartache.

A must read resource if you want to learn how to navigate your family’s estate contest in a healthy way to prevent an all-out family war.
Administrator's Checklist

Contested Estates


Administrator's Checklist

Estate Planning




A person appointed by the court to manage the assets and liabilities of a person who has died without making a valid will.

Administration of estate

The process of gathering an estate’s assets, paying the deceased’s debts and distributing the remaining assets.


A written statement, confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court.


A person (or charity) who receives a gift of benefit under an estate, trust or insurance policy.

Binding Death Benefit Nomination 

A binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) is a legally binding nomination that allows a super fund member to advise their fund about who is to receive their death benefits.


A document lodged in the Supreme Court that will stop any application for a grant of probate or letters of administration from progressing until the question of capacity to make the will is determined by a judge.


For the purposes of making an FPA in Queensland, a child is any biological child, stepchild or adopted child of the deceased person (regardless of their age).


A person who serves jointly with another person in carrying out the terms of a will.


An additional or supplementary document, signed in the same formal way as a will, that explains, modifies or revokes all or part of a will.


A person who relied on the deceased for financial support. For the purpose of making an FPA in Queensland, this includes any parent or other child (such as a foster child or grandchild) under the age of eighteen years, or any ex-spouse if they are the other parent to a child of the deceased under eighteen years – but only if those people were wholly or substantially financially supported by the deceased person at the time of their death. See separate definition for ‘superannuation dependant’ below.

Eligible applicant

For the purposes of making an FPA in Queensland, this is a spouse, child or dependant of the deceased.

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA)

An enduring power of attorney allows a person (the principal) to appoint someone they trust (an attorney) to make decisions about personal (including health) matters and/or financial matters for them.


All of the assets owned by the deceased person at their death.


A person or institution appointed by the willmaker to carry out the terms of their will.


A document produced to the court, referenced in and then attached to an affidavit.

Family provision application

An application to the court, by an eligible applicant, to receive a greater benefit under the will than has been provided for them by the willmaker (or under the intestacy formula).

Fiduciary duty

The legal duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiary.


Family provision application.

Grant or grant of representation

A document issued by a court to prove the legal authority of the person entitled to deal with a deceased person’s estate (called the personal representative).

Informal will

A document that states the testamentary intentions of a deceased person, but which has not been signed in accordance with the formal requirements for a valid will.


A descriptor for what happens when someone dies without a will.

Intestate estate

Any part of the deceased’s estate not effectively disposed of by will.


All of a person’s lineal descendants, including their children.

Joint Tenancy  

The holding of an estate or property jointly by two or more parties, the share of each passing to the other or others on death.

Letters of administration

A document issued by a court, appointing an administrator to manage the assets and liabilities of the estate of the deceased in certain situations. This might be ‘on intestacy’ (where there is no will) or ‘with the will annexed’ (if there is a will but no named executor wishes to apply for probate.)

Mutual Wills

A Mutual Will (or ‘contractual mirror’ will) is mutually binding such that following the first death, the survivor is constrained in his or her ability to dispose of his or her property by the agreement he or she made with the deceased.

Personal representative

The executor or administrator for the estate of a deceased person.


A document issued by a court, recognising one or more executors named in a will as authorised to manage the assets and liabilities of the estate.

Probate registrar

The officer of the probate registry who is appointed to deal only with matters relating to wills and estates.

Probate registry

A segment of the Supreme Court registry that deals only with handling matters relating to wills and estates.

Public trustee

The state government office established to provide trustee, estate and administration services, particularly where there is no-one else willing or able to act.

Residuary estate

That portion of the estate that is not specifically gifted to someone else in the will or specifically payable to a person on intestacy.

Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF)

Self-managed super funds are a form of trust where the members are usually also the trustees. This means the members of the SMSF run it for their benefit and are responsible for complying with the relevant super and tax laws.

Solemn form

A pronouncement that a court is satisfied that a will was made with the requisite testamentary capacity, made after a caveat has been filed challenging the validity of the will.


For the purposes of making an FPA in Queensland, a husband or wife (married or registered) or a de facto partner (heterosexual or same sex), as long as at the time of death they had been living with the deceased in a genuine domestic relationship for at least two years.

Superannuation dependant

Includes a spouse (heterosexual, same sex or de facto), children of any age, anyone financially dependent on the member, anyone in an ‘interdependency relationship’ with the member, or the legal member’s personal representative.

Superannuation trustee

In relation to any superannuation fund, the person or entity that manages the superannuation fund.

Tenants in Common

The holding of a property by two or more people in specific/defined shares (or fractions) that can be equal or unequal. Each tenant in common can sell their shares in the property or give them away in a will (there is no right of survivorship). 

Testamentary trust

A trust created by a Will that does not come into effect until the death of the willmaker.


A legal document by which a willmaker expresses their wishes about how their property is to be distributed at death, and names one or more people as the executor, to manage the estate until its final distribution.

Helpful Websites for Information on Probate and Superannuation Claims

Supreme Court of Queensland

Queensland Courts

Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)
(Previously the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal)

Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)

Information on the Collaborative Law Process

Queensland Association of Collaborative Practitioners

QLD Association of Collaborative Practictioners

International Academy of
Collaborative Professionals


Australian Association of Collaborative Professionals

If you are looking for another collaboratively-trained professional for other family members in a wills and estates matter, you can access the National register here.

Australian Association of Collaborative Professionals

Information for Counselling and Grief Support

Lifeline Australia

Lifeline Australia

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement



Bereavement C.A.R.E Centre

Bereavement C.A.R.E Centre

The Compassionate Friends

The Compassionate Friends

Good Grief
(Mary Mackillop Centre)

Good Grief (Mary Mackillop Centre)

National Association for Loss and Grief

National Association for Loss and Grief

Information for Other Forms of Legal Assistance

Legal Aid Queensland

Legal Aid Queensland

Caxton Legal Centre

Caxton Legal Centre

Information for Mediation

Australian Mediation Association

Australian Mediation Association

Resolution Institute

Resolution Institute

Helpful Websites for Estate Administration

Australian Death Notification Service

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