Esterina is a Senior Associate in the Estates team and has practised exclusively in the area of wills, estates and succession law since her admission as a legal practitioner. Her practice includes comprehensive estate and succession planning with strategies tailored for the individual client, advising on the wide-ranging and varied matters that arise in the administration of deceased estates, and acting in litigation and alternative dispute resolution processes for a variety of estate-related conflicts.
Esterina acts for and advises private clients from a range of backgrounds, including individuals and families in relation to their estate and succession planning, executors and administrators in applications for Grants of Probate, Letters of Administration and Reseals and the administration of deceased estates according to a will or on intestacy, beneficiaries of deceased estates and trusts in relation to their rights and entitlement, and parties to estate disputes both in the informal resolution of contentious matters and in initiating and defending litigation proceedings. She has also advised on unique succession issues in order to assist with legislative reform.
For a number of years, Esterina was involved in the editing and publication of the Elder Law Review, the only refereed journal in Australia concerned with laws and issues affecting older persons, and she published several articles in the journal. Esterina was also a member of the inaugural Editorial Board for the text Wills, Probate and Administration Practice (New South Wales) and she co-authored, edited and assisted in the publication of monthly bulletin case updates and annual updates for subscribers to the text.
Esterina draws on her wealth of specialised experience to support her clients in an empathetic and authentic manner. She enjoys assisting them to navigate complex estate administration and litigation dilemmas, and to achieve their desired estate planning outcomes.
Estate and succession planning
Acting for private clients and high net worth individuals, including the preparation of, review and advice on a comprehensive suite of documents: wills (incorporating testamentary discretionary trusts), powers of attorney, enduring guardianship arrangements, family trust and company documentation, self-managed superannuation fund trust deeds and death benefit nominations
Administration of deceased estates
Undertaking the administration of deceased estates, including multi-million dollar estates, insolvent estates and estates with assets in multiple jurisdictions. Applying for straightforward and complex grants of representation, redeeming and transmitting all types of estate assets, and liaising with accountants to finalise taxation matters
Estate litigation and alternative dispute resolution
Resolving estate disputes informally, as well as initiating and defending contested estate litigation matters, including informal will disputes, applications for the removal of an executor, family provision claims and contested probate proceedings such as arguments as to testamentary capacity
Complex estate administration
Advising on five interrelated deceased estates spanning three generations of family members, which involved finalising the incomplete administration of multiple estates, an informal will in the context of suicide, an application for a grant of letters of administration de bonis non, and investigations into unknown parentage to determine relevant beneficiaries on intestacy
Acting in an expedited hearing concerning the right of burial in relation to an Aboriginal person who died intestate, involving consideration of the highest legal right to administer the estate, the deceased’s wishes, the competing wishes of the deceased’s family, and Aboriginal cultural matters
Applying for a grant of a ‘lost will’, including the filing of evidence and preparation of submissions to rebut a legal presumption that the deceased destroyed their will with the intention of revoking it