With their vast knowledge and empathetic demeanours, Steve and Bernadette have assisted hundreds of individuals and couples understand their options and plan their estates per their testamentary wishes. Based on their experience, they are practiced in divining what each client really wants and helping them navigate various areas that can cause confusion when preparing Wills or potentially cause issues after the testator passes away.

Steve and Bernadette deal with clients from various walks of life and always assist them to achieve the best possible estate planning outcomes in the circumstances. Moreover, they can advise on and assist with preparing other legal documents, such as powers of attorney and care directives, depending on each client’s needs.

After death, the estate team at Salerno Law also have vast experience in administering deceased estates from obtaining a grant of representation to finalising the administration. Steve and Bernadette often deal with the Courts, financial institutions, beneficiaries and other family members, conveyancers, accountants, and government departments to ensure that every estate is fully administered. They also act in matters for and against the estate relating to contesting Wills and claims for family provision, and always aim to obtain the most satisfactory, efficient, and cost-effective result for their clients and the estate.

Understanding that every client’s situation is different, the team at Salerno Law are capable and easy to work with in relation to all your Wills and Estates needs.


  • estate planning

  • preparation of Wills, codicils, powers of attorney, and trust arrangements
  • administering estates pursuant to testamentary directions


Assisted innumerable clients plan their estates in wide variety of familial and financial circumstances, including testamentary distribution structures, trust and insurance structures, and creating options for testamentary distributions that match the desired outcomes of the client.

Regularly prepare various types of powers of attorney in QLD, WA, and NSW to assist clients prepare for various unforeseen possibilities in the future.

Acted in numerous QLD matters for legal representatives or beneficiaries of deceased estates to record death and transfer property from deceased’s name to specific parties in various circumstances with or without a Will and/or grants of probate or letters of administration.

Acted in numerous matters in QLD, WA, and NSW obtaining grants of probate and letters of administration (both with a Will and intestate estates), and reseals in different jurisdiction.

Acted in numerous matters in QLD, WA, and NSW administering estates and ensuring that the duties of the executor/administrator are fully satisfied.

Successfully negotiated the release a deceased’s ashes amid a dispute between the surviving family.

Acted for executors and disappointed beneficiaries in numerous family provision applications in QLD, NSW, and WA and obtained acceptable outcomes for clients in all matters prior to judgments being obtained.

Prepared and negotiated signing of deed of gift for pre-inheritance distribution from parents’ estate to child, and advising on risks with respect to challenges against the estate.

  • Steve Hodgson
  • Bernadette Mcshane

Book Your Consultation

If your case can be settled without going to court, this is usually best for everyone. To find out if alternative dispute resolution is appropriate for you case, book a consultation with a professional at Salerno Law. Call us on +61 7 5575 8011 to get in touch with our QLD office or +61 8 9169 2206 to reach our WA office.

Wills & Estate Law FAQs

A Will is a legal document that sets out your wishes for how your estate (property, money and possessions) should be distributed after your death.
You can use a Will to:

  • Appoint executors who will be responsible for administering your estate in accordance with your wishes;
  • Specify any special arrangements you have for the care of young children or other dependents;
  • Make gifts of property, money or possessions (these are called ‘legacies’); and
  • Reduce or avoid Inheritance Tax.

There is no legal requirement to make a Will, but if you don’t, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy. This may not be the way you would have wanted, and it could cause difficulties for your loved ones.

Yes. You can either write your own Will or use a solicitor to help you.

You need to ensure that your Will is validly executed and witnessed. You should also keep it in a safe place – your executors will need to be able to find it when you die.

It’s also a good idea to review your Will regularly, and update it if your circumstances change (for example, if you get married or divorced, have children or grandchildren, or buy or sell property).

If you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy. This may not be the way you would have wanted, and it could cause difficulties for your loved ones.

Yes. You can leave your assets to anyone you like, as long as they are over the age of 18.

Yes. You can change your Will at any time, as long as you are of sound mind and do so in accordance with the requirements of the Wills Act 1837.

A solicitor can help you to:

  • Understand the implications of making a Will;
  • Prepare your Will;
  • Store your Will safely; and
  • Update your Will if your circumstances change.

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make decisions on your behalf. This could be for financial decisions, property decisions or personal welfare decisions.

An enduring power of attorney is a type of power of attorney that continues to have effect even if you lose mental capacity.

There are a number of benefits to having a power of attorney, including:

  • You can appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf;
  • You can specify the types of decisions that can be made; and
  • The arrangement can be set up to take effect immediately, or only in the event that you lose mental capacity.

Yes. Your attorneys must sign the power of attorney document in the presence of a witness.

No. You do not need a lawyer to make an enduring power of attorney, but it is recommended that you seek legal advice before doing so.

Yes. You can cancel a power of attorney at any time, as long as you are of sound mind and do so in accordance with the requirements under your state or territories relevant legislation.

Estate planning is the process of making arrangements for your property and possessions (your ‘estate’) to be distributed after your death. This could involve making a Will, setting up a trust, or gifting assets during your lifetime. Estate planning can also help to reduce or avoid Inheritance Tax.

Estate planning is the process of making sure your property and possessions are distributed according to your wishes after you die. This can be done through a will, or by setting up trusts, among other methods.

A will is simply a document that states how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. You can name an executor in your will, who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes.

You should update your will regularly, as your circumstances (such as getting married, having children, etc.) may change over time.

In order to write a valid Will, you must be of sound mind and over the age of 18. You will need to decide how you want your assets to be distributed, and choose an executor who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes.

Your Will must be signed by you and two witnesses, who must also sign the Will in your presence.

Generally speaking, anyone over the age of 18 and of sound mind can make a Will. If you are unsure about your ability to make a Will, you should speak to a lawyer.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the need for an estate lawyer depends on individual circumstances. However, if you are considering making a will or planning your estate, it is generally advisable to seek legal advice to ensure that your wishes are carried out in accordance with the law.

When choosing a lawyer for wills and estate matters, it is important to select someone who is experienced in this area of law. You should also consider whether the lawyer is a good fit for your personal needs and preferences. For example, you may want to choose a lawyer who offers fixed-fee services rather than hourly rates.

When choosing an estate planning lawyer, you should consider the same factors as when choosing any other type of lawyer. In addition, it is important to make sure that the lawyer you choose is qualified and experienced in estate planning. You may also want to ask for recommendations from family and friend

The Estate Agents Council (EAC) is a statutory body responsible for regulating the real estate industry in Victoria, Australia. The EAC sets and enforces standards for estate agents, provides information and education resources, and investigates complaints about estate agents.

Property boards are not-for-profit organisations that represent the interests of their members, who are real estate agents. Property boards typically provide services such as training and professional development, industry advocacy, and marketing and promotion.

To become an estate lawyer in Australia, you must first complete a law degree at an accredited university. After being admitted to practice as a solicitor or barrister, you can then undertake further study in estate law through a postgraduate program such as a Masters of Laws (LLM). Alternatively, you may choose to specialize in this area through your work experience.