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Always keeping the human element of Wills and Estates at the forefront of her practice, Ashleigh is empathetic and pragmatic in her advice to clients. She is also a fierce advocate, taking pride in producing successful outcomes for her clients.
“To me, it is important to pay careful attention to the details of each matter, however, the focus should always be on the bigger picture and achieving the desired outcome. It can be hard to see the wood for the trees at times during legal matters, it is these moments that sensible legal advice can really help guide clients through the thick of it to a suitable outcome.”
Having practised exclusively in the area of Wills and Estates since commencing her legal career, Ashleigh is well placed to assist in a variety of matters. She has a particular interest in VCAT guardianship and administration, and the various legal issues often arising due to age, disability or incapacity.
Ashleigh advised the VCAT appointed administrator for beneficiary with an acquired brain injury in relation to his claim for provision from his late mother’s estate. The beneficiary was in a vulnerable position and had not had the benefit of legal advice during the administration of his mother’s estate and the subsequent litigation, which was issued by another child of the deceased. Bringing her solution-focused advocacy to this matter, Ashleigh negotiated terms of settlement which gave the beneficiary (by his administrator) financial security and was significantly better placed than he would likely have been. One important component of this matter, was the establishment of a special disability trust for the benefit of the beneficiary, which allowed him to receive a considerable sum from his mother’s estate without having a detrimental effect on his pension.
In some instances, there may be concerns regarding the circumstances in which a Will was signed. In some circumstances, a caveat may be filed, and these questions must be considered before the Court. In a matter where the questions raised by the caveator were vague and not directly relevant to the Deceased’s last Will, Ashleigh represented the executors for the Estate and defended the caveat. A successful outcome arose when the caveat was dismissed and the Deceased’s Will was admitted to probate.