Frequently asked questions
If you need help with an estate planning, deceased estate, or estate dispute matter, I’ll send you a link to complete our free online intake form. I have partnered with Settify, a leading Australian legal tech firm, to provide a convenient online form for you to supply information relevant to your matter at your own pace. This means that when we meet for the first time, we can spend our time on strategy not on admin.
If you need help with a different type of matter, I’ll send you a link to my online calendar. Choose a time for an initial consultation that suits you — no phone tag or duelling diaries here.
Demeter Legal is an online law firm. This means we can serve clients anywhere in Australia (thanks to the wonders of the internet). I also offer in-person meetings within a 500km radius of Albany WA. That said, if you wanted to fly me up to Broome for a face-to-face chat, I wouldn’t say no, particularly in the middle of a Great Southern winter!
Absolutely! Many of my clients live in rural and remote parts of our incredible country and it is part of my mission to extend quality legal services to as many people as possible. A half-decent internet connection is helpful, but we can always jump on the old dog-and-bone if Skymuster or Starlink are having an off day.
Not on your nelly!
I gave up the billable hour years ago and I have no intention of going back. All of my services are billed on either a fixed fee or value-based arrangement.
Fixed fee billing means that you get to choose the package that suits you. I currently have fixed fees in place for my estate planning and deceased estates work.
I use value-based billing for more complex or unusual matters. I’ll get as much information from you as I can, look at the variables, and give you a set price for the work.
Either way, the price we agree on at the beginning of the matter for the agreed scope is the price you pay. If the scope of the matter changes, I’ll let you know of any fee changes before I start the work.
I bill at various stages throughout a matter. This means you pay in smaller instalments, rather than one large lump. For example, in an estate planning matter you would pay 50% of the agreed fee after the strategy meeting, 30% when you receive the draft documents, and the final 20% on receipt of the final documents for signing.
Yes, and no. Everything that is included in the scope of works for a particular package is included in the fee. I don’t include disbursements (which are generally third party costs that I pay on your behalf and charge back to you) in the fee for every package because these can change from matter to matter.
Estate planning matters can generally be resolved in 2-3 weeks (as long as clients are responsive and engaged in the process). If life gets in the way, they can take several months.
When it comes to deceased estates, the length of time can depend on the work required to put together the application for probate/letters of administration. One to two months is a fair estimate. Once lodged, it takes 4-6 weeks for the Supreme Court to process your application.
Administration of estates can take anywhere from several months to two years, depending on the complexity of the estate. You’ll get a better idea of timeframes once we start working together.
Collaborative succession planning, estate planning and disputes matters generally take six months or more.
Sorry, no. I’m not a family lawyer, but I do know some excellent ones. I also know excellent HR & OHS lawyers, patent attorneys and dispute resolution lawyers. If I can’t help with your matter, you can bet that there’s someone in my little black book that can.
Yes – provided I was not involved with the estate planning, or have previously acted for another party to the estate.
Not if I can help it. I’ve witnessed firsthand the damage that prolonged litigation can do to families and estates, and I want no part of it myself. I prefer to use a collaborative dispute resolution model to resolve disputes peacefully.
If you are intent on fighting and I believe that Collaborative Practice is not the right fit for you, I will refer you to a traditional dispute resolution specialist.