Rachael’s experience has seen her work in both private practice and within corporate Australia. She previously worked exclusively in the trustee industry for over 7 years providing bespoke succession and estate planning advice to high net worth individuals across Australia. Rachael also has a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning from the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.

Rachael provides specialised legal advice on all aspects of wills and estates including; complex estate planning and succession law advice, wills, powers of attorney, personal trusts, personal wealth structuring, asset protection, superannuation, charitable foundations, probate, estate administration and estate litigation. Rachael is also an appointed and qualified notary public.

Rachael is the immediate past chair of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Victoria and Director of STEP Australia.

Significant experience

  • Working with the taxation and commercial team in the regular review of the succession issues of family businesses to implement strategies to achieve their lifetime and testamentary objectives.
  • Working with high net worth clients in the establishment of Private Ancillary Funds and the drafting of charitable foundations in their Will.
  • Representing a beneficiary in a family provision claim against an estate valued in excess of one billion dollars, including dealing with all of the complexities that arise from an estate of that size.
  • Representing an estate in complex estate litigation which involved questions of marital and de facto status, immigration and whether the Will signed a number of months before the marriage was made in contemplation of marriage, ultimately resulting in a Grant of probate of the Will.
  • Acting for a complex estate involving beneficiaries in multiple jurisdictions and international assets. Advice involving trusts, international trusts, international and domestic taxation issues and an Order 54 applications to the Supreme Court.
  • Acting for executors of estates that are impacted by the laws of forfeiture due to the unlawful killing of the testator by a beneficiary.
  • Acting for one of the appointed executors of an estate to seek the removal of all of the executors and the appointment of a Trustee Company. This action was taken after many failed attempts to unite the executors in order to file an application for Probate.
  • Estate planning advice which involves a complete review of both personal and financial circumstances (family trusts, businesses corporations, overseas assets etc) followed by the implementation of strategies tailored to reflect testamentary objectives.
  • Reviewing trust and company documents as part of the estate planning process and preparing appropriate documentation such as deeds of variation and letters of wishes.
  • Reviewing superannuation trust deeds and advising on death benefit nominations.
  • Drafting and advising on Wills ranging from simple to complex (including those incorporating testamentary discretionary trusts).
  • Preparing various powers of attorney, including general, enduring (financial and personal) and enduring (medical treatment).
  • Advising on various taxation aspects of Wills and estates.
  • Litigation for and against persons seeking further provision from a deceased estate under Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act.
  • General trust and estate litigation.
  • Obtaining simple and complex grants of representation including probate and reseals of interstate and overseas grants.
  • Advising executors, beneficiaries and third parties in relation to estate administration.
  • Establishment of Private Ancillary Funds and the drafting charitable foundations.

Qualifications

Accredited Wills & Estates Specialist

Trust & Estates Practitioner

Bachelor of Laws,
Griffith University

Bachelor of Commerce (Honours),
Griffith University

Bachelor of Arts,
La Trobe University

Diploma in Education,
La Trobe University

Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning,
FINSIA

Memberships

Law Institute of Victoria

Director, Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) Australia

Immediate past Chair, Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) Victoria Branch

Rachael works with