Rachael Hocking is a Wills & Estates lawyer with a focus on Litigation. She 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.
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
Wooster v Morris  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  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.