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James Dimond

senior associate, private clients | wills and estates

meet James

about James

In the same way he would tell a story when he was a journalist, James has a unique ability to understand and voice his clients’ stories, advocating for them in their estate disputes.

By understanding each client’s story, James is able to identify and appreciate his client’s emotional drivers and their needs whilst ensuring their commercial objectives are considered. James also helps his clients take proactive steps regarding their estates that help them save time, money and distress down the track.

“These matters are incredibly emotionally draining for all involved. Knowing you are resolving a dispute and helping clients get on with their lives is hugely important and rewarding.”

With estate planning continuously becoming more complex, James’ specialisation in the field sets him apart.

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Areas of Expertise

cross-jurisdictional estate planning
deceased estate taxation and duty
estate administration/probate
estate disputes and contested probate
informal wills
insolvent estates
powers of attorney
reseals of foreign grants of representation
self-managed superannuation fund (smsf) succession
special disability trusts
superannuation death benefit disputes
testator’s family maintenance/family provision
trust disputes and controversy
trust succession and trust variations
vcat: guardianship disputes and elder abuse
wills and testamentary trust wills

industries

accountants

additional qualifications

accredited specialist, wills and estates, law institute of victoria
member, society of trust and estate practitioners (step)

 

recent experience

  • putting a freeze on stolen money

    James obtained ‘freezing orders’ from VCAT for a client to freeze money stolen by an attorney from his elderly mother. The attorney took every step possible to avoid being brought to account, trying to get the money to a ‘safe harbour’. Through court applications and a thorough investigation into the estate, James had the attorney removed and was able to recover the stolen money plus costs for the client. The client was then able to enjoy the inheritance he was entitled to and plan for his family’s future.

  • suspect trust amendments resolved

    James successfully challenged certain trust deed amendments executed under suspicious circumstances by a controller the family trusts. The amendments would have resulted in one child taking control of the trusts, which were worth many millions of dollars. An investigation demonstrated the only advice the family patriarch had received on the effects of these amendments was from the lawyer representing the child who stood to benefit and he may not have had the capacity to comprehend the complicated nature of these changes. The legal challenge resulted in the involved parties resolving the matter on terms that ensured the family patriarch retained the benefit of the assets during his lifetime and after his passing, his children would all share control.

  • rare unsigned will accepted

    This matter is only one of a handful of successful applications in which the courts have accepted an unsigned document as a person’s last Will. Representing the executors of the estate, James and team argued the Will maker intended for an updated Will to supersede earlier versions despite failing to formally execute the document. The Will maker had wanted to wait for her long-time lawyer, who was planning to travel to be available but she died in the intervening period. James was able satisfy the Courts that although the Will maker had never seen the Will, she had confirmed her satisfaction with it on three separate occasions, expressing she considered the document settled.

  • bespoke estate planning

    The client, the CEO of a US publically listed company required assistance with her estate planning. James assisted the client, navigating through complex multi-jurisdictional requirements to create a bespoke estate planning arrangement to suit the client’s needs. The arrangements created by James will ensure the client’s adult children receive a greater benefit from their mother’s estate by streamlining the arrangements and avoiding double taxation and other unnecessary taxations and duties.