Rachael Hocking

Senior Associate
Phone: 03 8600 6068
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Rachael has worked with Aitken Partners in our Litigation Team since 2003 and was admitted to practice in December 2012. 

Rachael works predominately in the area of Wills, Estates and Succession, and is also actively involved in our Litigation Team.

Rachael acts on behalf of individuals, families, trustees, trustee companies and businesses in all aspects of litigation concerning deceased estates, testator’s family maintenance claims, superannuation – with particular emphasis on self-managed superannuation funds, trusts, construction proceedings, property disputes, applications by trustees, and capacity cases. Rachael has assisted her clients in litigation in all State Courts from the Magistrates’ Court to the Supreme Court of Appeal as well as the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and alternative dispute resolution including mediation. She has a particular interest in trust law.

Rachael has experience advising individuals and families to ensure their estate planning is comprehensive and appropriately meets their needs.

Her recent experience includes:

  • All aspects of litigation arising out of deceased estates with particular emphasis on:
    • Trust and Superannuation disputes; and
    • Testator’s Family Maintenance Claims
  • VCAT Guardianship and Administration matters
  • Contesting validity of testamentary documents including capacity issues
  • Advising on the appointment and removal of trustees
  • Negotiation and mediation
  • Preparation of Wills and Power of Attorney documents including in relation to difficult family situations
  • Applications for Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration
  • Administering estates and transferring assets
  • Insolvency and Debt Recovery
  • Enforcement of orders
  • By-law prosecutions
Examples of recent cases includes:
  • Wooster v Morris [2013] VSC 594 – advising and acting on behalf of the successful Plaintiffs in a dispute concerning a binding death benefit nomination executed by a deceased in relation to his entitlements in a self-managed superannuation fund. The validity of the nomination was upheld in the Plaintiffs favour. This case involved complex issues surrounding self-managed superannuation funds and binding death benefit nominations and has serious implication for trustees where the trustee was found to have lost its right to an indemnity out of trust assets. Further details can be found in our news article Implications of Morris case on Self-Managed Super Funds and Binding Death Nominations

  • Smoel v Morris [2013] VSC 291 – advising and acting on behalf of the successful Plaintiffs who were the executors and trustees of their late father’s estate in applying for judicial approval pursuant to order 54 of the Supreme Court Rules to sell estate property subject to a life interest. This case ultimately resulted in an indemnity costs order awarded in favour of the trustees.