Cathy Piccolo

Special Counsel
Wills + EstatesPrivate Clients

About Cathy

Cathy has worked as a lawyer helping people with their wills and estates for more than 30 years.

She has assisted with estate planning and helped to administer an estate after the loss of a loved one. When things do not go to plan, Cathy helps people to make a claim against the estate including commencing family provision applications, as well as defending claims against estates.

During her career, Cathy has seen the impact unintended consequences can have on individuals and families when the intentions of the deceased are unclear or inadequate.

As well as preparing both simple and complex wills, Cathy ensures your estate plan considers:

  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Advance health directives
  • Testamentary Trusts
  • Binding Death Benefit Nominations
  • Testamentary guardians
  • Provisions to protect beneficiaries with disabilities
  • Managing potential family provision applications and providing for blended families
  • Dealing with interstate and international assets
  • Trusts, companies and superannuation funds
  • Testamentary capacity of the testator
  • Preparation of "deathbed" wills.

Cathy also handles estate administration matters in Queensland, interstate and overseas, including applications for grants of probate and letters of administration on intestacy and with a will.

An experienced litigator, she has represented executors and applicants in family provision applications, including attending without prejudice conferences and mediations, applications seeking the removal of an executor, contested applications for grants of probate and defended claims against estates.

Cathy has worked for other leading Wills and Estates law firms advising on succession law as well as at both the Public Trustee of Qld and a private trustee company.

Cathy regularly shares her knowledge and presents seminars, webinars or workshops for referrers and clients.

Qualifications

  • Admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland in December 1988
  • Bachelor of Laws – University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) – University of Queensland
  • Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice – Queensland University of Technology

Memberships & Appointments

Relevant Experience

Estate Planning

  • Drafting simple and complex wills
  • Powers of attorney for individuals, companies and trustees
  • Enduring powers of attorneys and advance health directives
  • Drafting enduring powers of attorney authorising conflict transactions and gifts
  • Consideration of capacity of persons making wills and enduring powers of attorney
  • Binding death benefit nominations for self-managed super funds and commercial funds
  • Creating guidelines for testamentary guardians
  • Expressions of wishes to trustee of discretionary trusts.

Estate Administration

  • Transmission of all asset types including property, shares, chattels and debts held in Queensland, interstate and overseas
  • Applications for grants of probate or letters of administration on intestacy and with will, renunciations by executor, reseals of probate, applications for probate where death occurred in a foreign jurisdiction and probate of foreign wills
  • Advise executors with regard to their duties, interpretation of wills and identification of beneficiaries
  • Advice to executors, beneficiaries and other parties on the validity of wills including testamentary capacity and execution of wills
  • Administration of bankrupt and solvent estates as well as estates involving executors/beneficiaries who have died in succession.

Estate Disputes and Litigation

  • Acting for executors and applicants in family provision applications
  • Attending mediation and settlement conferences
  • Acting for executors in:
    • contested applications for grants of probate and letters of administration;
    • instituting claims on behalf of an estate;
    • defending claims brought against an estate; and
    • complex applications including where an original Will has been lost or not properly executed.