There are lots of reasons why you might hesitate to instruct a lawyer. Here are some of the more common questions that some of our clients have thought to themselves before we earned their trust:

Do I really need this service?

Yes, you really do. Wills and estates are specialised areas of law, and we are one of the very few law firms that truly specialises in these areas. If you don’t have a valid and up-to-date Will then you are risking your family’s future. If someone you know has died, then their estate needs to be properly and efficiently administered with a minimum of fuss. Neither of these important matters should be put-off, or handled by amateurs.

Do they have a lower-priced service? Can I negotiate the fee?

Yes, we can do work for a lower price – What would you like us to leave out? When we offer fixed-fee packages, we always try to offer different levels of service depending on what most people need/want. These packages are cheaper as a bundle of related services, because similar work done at the same time is more efficient.

That means it takes less time and costs less to produce, so there are savings to be passed onto you. However it may be possible to unbundle the services and just pay for what you want right now. It can be cheaper at the moment, although it means leaving pieces of the package out. If you decide later that you need a different piece of the package, then you’ll have to pay for it separately, and miss out on the discounted-package price.

Lawyer’s fees are generally based upon an hourly-rate. The market determines what a lawyer is worth, based on their reputation, experience, track-record and level of expertise. Not all lawyers are worth the same. Not all Wills are the same. Lots of lawyers “dabble” in many areas of law, and will “have a go” at making your Will.

But if you pay peanuts, you’re very likely to get monkeys! This is a specialised area of law, and we are one of the very few law firms that truly specialises in Wills & Estates. Remember that any problems in your Will won’t become apparent until after you’re gone and it’s too late for you to fix them. Are you sure you want to entrust your family’s future to the lowest-bidder?

Do I need to pay upfront?

For most of our services, the answer is no. However, there are 2 main exceptions:

  • For remote (skype) Wills, we require payment upfront.
  • When we need to pay out money on your behalf (called disbursements) for things like government fees, stamp duty, registration fees, court fees etc, we will ask you for these amounts before we can then disburse them on your behalf.

Are there any additional charges or hidden expenses?

No – all our fees are itemised and documented, and all expenses are discussed with you before they are incurred – with your approval. All fees and charges are itemised and transparent.

Why do you charge a flat fee? Don’t lawyers generally charge by the hour?

Traditionally lawyers only offered an open-ended hourly rate for their fees. We were one the first to offer fixed-fee services in our areas of law, to reduce the uncertainty which clients can sometimes feel about committing to pay a lawyer’s fees without actually knowing the precise amount.

For those clients who wish it, and for some areas of law that require it, we still offer hourly-rate options for our fees.

Maybe other lawyers charge less

This is quite possible, and if price is a major concern for you, then you should make enquiries with more than one law firm to ‘test the market’. When you do, remember to focus on ‘value’ rather than just ‘price’. Ask: How long do you spend with your clients, getting to understand their personal circumstances? Do you specialise in this area of law? How long have you been a lawyer in Adelaide South Australia? What legal professional accreditation do you have? What guarantees do you offer?

The modest investment for a well drafted Will from Genders and Partners as part of a modern integrated estate plan is not shocking, and provides peace-of-mind to you and your family.

Genders and Partners are the oldest law firm in South Australia. Since 1848 we have been helping South Australians protect themselves, their assets and their families. We work with each client on an individual level, to create an integrated plan that is personalised just for them and we prepare all their legal documents within their estate plan so that they work together. We supervise the proper execution of all the documents, and we store them securely.

A legal Will is almost certainly the most important legal document you will ever create in your whole life. Doesn’t it make sense to take the effort to get it right? People who wouldn’t even dream of trying to install their own toilet or air-conditioner, seem to be ‘having a go’ at creating their own legal Wills.

There are lots of traps for the unwary, and this whole area of Succession Law and deceased estates contains a hidden minefield which with a bit of education & planning you can avoid for yourself and your loved ones.

There are some areas in life where it makes sense to pay a little extra. If you go to a heart surgeon, you’re not going to ask for the basement-bargain transplanted heart are you? If you are in a business where you spend 8 hours a day in your chair, isn’t it sensible to get one with some lumbar support that won’t give you backache?

You ought to want good shoes, a good mattress, and a good estate plan. If you pay peanuts… you’re very likely to get monkeys.

Should I talk to [someone] first? What will [someone else] think about my decision? Should I get a second opinion?

It’s always a good idea to be informed. Just don’t let yourself become paralysed with indecision. Some folks can procrastinate forever, always finding some further excuse to delay taking action. In the area of Wills and estates, ‘failing to plan’ has the same consequence as ‘planning to fail’. Don’t do that to yourself and your family.

Can’t I just go to my accountant or financial planner for this stuff?

While both your accountant and financial planner can (and should) have some input into your estate plan, they cannot by law create your documents for you, nor do they have the correct training and expertise to properly advise you on the legal aspects of estate planning. This is a specialist area of law. You wouldn’t ask a podiatrist to give you a heart transplant.

Can I trust this lawyer? Will he overcharge me? Cheat me? Let me down?

Our expertise, our training, our professional reputation, our guarantees, our centuries of service in South Australia, our many online reviews & testimonials should all give you peace-of-mind that we can be trusted to help you protect you and yours. We would not still be in business after 170+ years if we did not provide excellent customer service.

What if X happens? Will I have to come back and pay more to remake my Will?

Our firm is the only one we know of that offers 12-months of free revisions for the Wills we create.

If I reveal X, how do I know the lawyer won’t tell [someone else]?

Check out our professional reputation – go on, google us, we’ll wait. We are proud to be the oldest law firm in South Australia (est 1848) and we are still family-owned generations later. Our discretion is assured – and you can take that to the bank. We take our clients’ privacy and confidentiality VERY seriously, and we wouldn’t still be in business after 170+ years if we were ‘loose-lipped’ about our clients’ affairs.

Can I wait?

Our areas of work can cause people to have to confront issue they might prefer to avoid – like the mortality of themselves or their loved-ones. But uncomfortable issues NEVER get better with procrastination. For Wills, remember that (like insurance) you can’t wait until after the disaster has struck to create the protections you need. You MUST put the protection (ie the Will, power of attorney, trust, advance care directive etc) in place BEFORE the bad event occurs. That means: DO NOT PUT THIS OFF ANY LONGER.

Can I fix this myself?

DIY is a very bad idea for Wills and for Probate. Some aspects of estate planning or deceased estate administration can be usefully performed by you IN COLLABORATION with a senior lawyer who specialises in the area. But it is vital that you take advice first to work out which parts of the work you can do yourself safely, and which should be left to the experts.

Most people wouldn’t dream of trying to install their own toilet or air-conditioner. So why would they risk trying to DIY the most important legal documents of their life?

Is this the right lawyer for the job? How do I know they can handle this?

We are a specialist boutique law firm. We ONLY work in the areas of Wills and Estates. We know what we are doing. And our many grateful clients over 170+ years have given us plenty of compliments, supportive testimonials and online reviews to illustrate this. Go ahead – google us – check us out. You’ll be very glad you chose Genders and Partners as your law firm to assist you to protect you and yours.