Wills & Estate Planning

Many people consider that making a will is only necessary when you get to the “twilight years”.  However, none of us know what fate has in store for us and without a will, you may be causing those you care about unnecessary stress, delay and expense.  Making a will is easy, affordable and not as traumatic as you may think.

At Adelta Legal we treat each client’s personal and financial situation as unique, which enables us to tailor our advice and documents to achieve your general and specific estate goals.  Many of those goals are to ensure your assets are given to the people you wish to receive them, but consideration also needs to be given to other factors such as tax implications, guardians for underage children, and ongoing care for any child who may have a disability or certain needs throughout their life. 

We understand that most clients want straightforward advice.  We take a practical approach to every individual’s circumstances to create simple and understandable solutions where possible. 

Where there are more complicated financial structures at play, a joint approach with your accountant or financial planner is recommended to ensure that your overall estate plan is cohesive and practical, and we are more than happy to engage with these other professional advisors.  Particularly with family trusts, corporate trustees, testamentary trusts and self-managed super funds, it is vital to understand who is in control and who you want that control to pass to upon your death.  For information on Testamentary Trusts click here.

Many people do not realise that estate planning often includes altering existing structures and setting up agreements or transactions during the lifetime of a person to achieve a certain outcome on their death.  Examples of this are family trusts, self-managed super funds, granny flat agreements and transfers of property, all of which we can provide expert advice.

Sometimes people think that a will kit will do.  “Home-made” wills are a cheap and easy way to make a will.  However, they are prime examples of where we see things go wrong.  They do not provide you with advice specific to your situation and often lead to unintended beneficiaries, considerable delays and expense to your family during what is already a difficult time for them.  In short, they are fraught with danger and a false economy.

Adelta Legal has assisted with both simple and complex estate planning, often spanning several generations of families.  Our extensive expertise in wills and estate planning includes but is not limited the following:

For FAQs on Wills and Estate Planning click here and for more information regarding trusts click here.

We have offices in the city, at Tea Tree Gully and Morphett Vale for the convenience of clients.   In addition, for the elderly or infirm, visits can be made to clients at home or in hospital.

Call us on 08 8415 5000 or send an email to make an appointment.

Key people for Wills and Estate Planning

Alison Evenden

Director

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Director

LL.B. (Hons)

Alison was first admitted to legal practice in England before migrating to Adelaide in 1988.

After working in UK and in one of Adelaide’s larger firms, Alison commenced her very own legal practice in 1993 until she merged her practice with, and become a partner of, Adelta Legal in March 2011.  She is known for providing a high level of service to clients in all commercial and estate planning and administration fields of practice.

She has acted for international businesses with interests in Australia and advised in connection with the administration of deceased estates in England.

Alison has been recognised in Doyle’s Guide for several years as one of Adelaide’s leading lawyers in the field of estate planning.

Over the last 35 years Alison has particularly specialised in:

  • estate planning and wills
  • deceased estate administration
  • advice to small business
  • commercial transactions
  • property and conveyancing matters,

and is able to assist a range of clients in giving practical, friendly and cost effective advice.

Outside the law Alison is the Chair of a Board of a not-for-profit registered training organisation and until recently has been on the Board of a private retirement village.  She was one of the founding members of the Succession Law Committee of the Law Society of South Australia.

She is keen to educate and inform the public on legal issues and is involved in providing many community talks and information sessions for councils and community groups on an annual basis in all areas of wills and estate planning.

Alison is known for her efficient, practical and clear advice, ability to communicate with people of all levels and is conscious of providing advice at a reasonable cost to clients.

Contact Alison Evenden

Tony Rice

Consultant

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Consultant

LL.B.

For over 50 years Tony Rice has specialised in general commercial advice and wills and estates.

He is one of Adelaide’s most experienced and trusted solicitors in advising families on the preparation of wills and associated documents and in the administration of estates.

Tony was a member of Ward & Partners Lawyers from its inception in March 1969 until December 2001, and was a Partner of Adelta Legal from its inception in January 2002 until the end of March 2020.  He is now a Consultant to the firm.

Outside the law, Tony has had a lifelong interest in and involvement with cricket, as both player and administrator.  He played cricket for Kensington District Cricket Club for more than 20 years, and has been a member of the Club’s management committee for nearly 35 years.  He is a life member of the Club.  He is also involved with the South Australian Cricket Association, having been a member of SACA’s Premier Cricket Committee for over 28 years.

Contact Tony Rice

Kerry Miller

Senior Associate

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Senior Associate

LL.B. (Hons)

Kerry has more than 15 years of experience practising as a lawyer in England and Australia.

Kerry joined the Adelta Legal team in January 2022 and brings with her extensive experience in estate planning, estate administration and property matters.

Kerry prides herself on providing a proactive and collaborative approach to other professional advisors and clients.

Kerry is able to assist clients with a full range of estate planning needs, including:

  • Drafting Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Advance Care Directives
  • Advice and establishing Testamentary Trusts
  • Estate planning advice including the consideration of non-estate assets such as family trusts and superannuation
  • Administration of Deceased Estates

Kerry has particular expertise working with blended families to ensure their complex estate planning needs are satisfied.

Kerry is a member of the Law Society of South Australia.

Contact Kerry Miller

Christina Fung

Consultant

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Consultant

MTax, LL.B. (Hons), BArchSt

Christina was admitted to practise in 1997 and she holds a Masters degree in Taxation.

Before joining Adelta, she worked for the Australian Taxation Office for over 20 years.

Christina is a tax specialist with a wealth of experience in providing tax advice, including employee share schemes, capital management issues (return of share capital, demerger, share buy-back), debt/equity and integrity measures on capital benefits.

She has worked with large ASX listed corporate groups and private family enterprises.

She is strategic in her approach when resolving tax disputes involving small businesses.  She has strong analytical skills when dealing with complex issues and is sensitive in managing relationships.

Christina has experience in and can assist clients with:

  • Providing private advice on corporate transactions
  • Employee share schemes
  • Resolving complex tax disputes involving multiple parties
  • Conducting tax litigation at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
  • Complex applications for private rulings
  • Providing capital gains tax and income tax advice

In addition, she also be deals with deceased estate administration, estate planning and various commercial and property transactions.

Christina focuses on providing practical solutions to complex problems

In her free time, Christina likes to play the violin and attend musicals.

Contact Christina Fung

Chantel Cortazzo

Associate

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Associate

LL.B, GDLP

Chantel’s passion for law commenced at the early age of 7 on the premise of wanting to assist people in times of need.

After obtaining her Bachelor of Laws from the University of South Australia and Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Adelaide, Chantel worked in both commercial and succession law before developing her interest in the areas of wills and estates.

Now an integral part of our advice team, Chantel has obtained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the last few years in drafting complex wills and handling deceased estates.

For those who have recently lost a loved one, Chantel is a natural empath who prides herself on being able to provide her clients with a service that is holistic in its approach and based in sincerity and compassion.

Specialising primarily in drafting wills and estate administration matters, Chantel can assist our clients with:

  • estate administration – including obtaining simple and complex grants of probate and letters of administration
  • estate planning – including the drafting of both simple and complex wills, the review of company and trust documents and providing tailored advice
  • preparation of powers of attorney and advance care directives.

With exceptional interpersonal skills, Chantel truly understands her clients’ problems and is able to put their minds at ease.

If you are looking for someone who exceeds at creating a comfortable environment, is approachable and easy to talk to, look no further than our very own Chantel to assist you.

Behind the scenes Chantel has a passion for live music, being an avid musician and composer herself, and enjoys a weekend away in South Australia’s wine regions.

Memberships:

  • Law Society of South Australia
  • Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association

Contact Chantel Cortazzo

Jacqueline Johns

Solicitor

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Solicitor

LL.B., BA., GDLP

Known affectionately as “Jacqui” to clients and colleagues, Jacqui works the field of estate planning, wills and deceased estate administration.

From a grazier and cropping upbringing, Jacqui is resourceful and adaptable to changing circumstances. She continues to instil the farmer’s work ethic in her practice, striving to share her authentic insights into the wills and estates process while maintaining a practical focus on factors such as time and cost.  Jacqui offers clients a comprehensive but simplified understanding of their options with a warm and friendly approach.

From a multicultural background herself and spending her student years learning with and mentoring international students, Jacqui offers a great deal of patience and understanding when it comes to clients from different backgrounds, ages and varied levels of English fluency.

It is at the heart of her practice that her relationship with clients is built on confidentiality and empathy.

Jacqui can offer her services in the following matters:

Estate Planning:

  • simple and complex wills
  • powers of attorney
  • advance care directives

Estate Administration:

  • simple and complex probate and letters of administration applications
  • deeds of family arrangement, statutory declarations and contracts for mutual wills
  • general advice to executors and administrators

While Jacqui is no longer climbing grain silos and running around shearing sheds, outside of work you will either find her back home in the Murraylands painting landscapes and spending quality time with her family, or in the city indulging on flaky, golden domes of fabulous pastries.

Memberships:

  • Law Society of South Australia
  • Asian Australian Lawyers Association

Contact Jacqueline Johns

Michael Alder

Solicitor

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Solicitor

LL.B. (Hons), BNurs, MMgmt, MHRM

Michael works in estate planning, wills and deceased estate administration.

Michael’s earlier career involved working in busy accident and emergency departments as a registered nurse and subsequently as a general manager for some of South Australia’s largest aged care providers.

Michael comes to Adelta Legal with comprehensive work experiences that assist him in being able to provide holistic wills and estate planning advice.

Michael can offer his services in the following matters:

Advanced Care Directives:

  • Simple and complex directives.

Estate Planning:

  • simple and complex wills; and
  • powers of attorney.

Estate Administration:

  • simple and complex probate and letters of administration applications;
  • deeds of family arrangement; and
  • general advice to executors and administrators.

On sunny weekends you will find Michael exploring the country on his Triumph motorbike.

Memberships:

  • Law Society of South Australia
  • Law Society Justice Access Committee
  • Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association

Contact Michael Alder