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Sam is a senior lawyer providing high quality legal advice, drafting, guidance and strategy to clients in the related areas of:

  • Wills and Estate Planning 
  • Estate and trust litigation 
  • Estate and trust administration
  • Family business succession and transactions

Sam’s particular expertise and experience can help:

  • rural families, including to negotiate, plan for and document the transfer of family farms and farming businesses
  • families undertaking future planning for family members with disabilities, including Special Disability Trusts and special forms of Testamentary Trusts
  • clients with medium-high net wealth, including asset protection strategies, and strategies to pass intergenerational family wealth tax effectively
  • those seeking a tailored Wills drafted for the individual client’s family, finances and wishes
  • clients who live or have assets outside Tasmania and/or overseas, and in particular clients with Estate Planning issues arising from a connection with the United Kingdom
  • Estate Planning and asset protection for medical professionals, including GPs, anaesthetists, surgeons and other specialists
  • clients facing complex tax issues relating to estates and trusts
  • parties requiring Family Law Financial Agreements (including “pre-nups”) and related Estate Planning solutions, to protect assets/wealth brought into a relationship
  • Estate Planning strategies for Self Managed Superannuation Funds, and planning for the right control and taxation of superannuation death benefits
  • family owned business with succession planning, both during life and in the event of the death of a key person/owner
  • executors and beneficiaries requiring advice and representation in relation to estates and trusts
  • spouses and children making and defending TFM Claims (Family Provision Claims) against estates
  • negotiation  and dispute resolution, including experienced advocacy at Supreme Court mediations, relating to estates, trusts and related matters
  • applications for Probate and Letters of Administration, the administration of estates, and related issues including where issues arise about testamentary capacity 
  • acting for spouses, children, financial dependents and those in interdependency relationships in relation to superannuation death benefit disputes
  • advocacy in Supreme Court proceedings relating to estates, trusts and related matters

Sam has for many years received referrals from Financial Advisers, Accountants and other lawyers to assist their clients with high end Estate Planning, and where complex issues have arisen with an estate or a trust that require specialist assistance.    Sam has assisted hundreds of Tasmanian families to understand and provide effectively for the control of their wealth in the event of their incapacity or death.

Sam has a specialist practice within Simmons Wolfhagen in the above areas, and assists his clients to take advantage of the firm’s full service offering where they have other legal needs.

Sam’s background includes a degree in law and commerce from the University of Tasmania in 2002, followed by winning the Foley’s List Advocacy Award at the Leo Cussen Institute in Melbourne in 2003, and then several years in legal practice in Melbourne.   After a period living and working in Northern Ireland, he returned to Tasmania in 2006, and has then spent over eleven years as a succession/Wills and estates lawyer.    Sam also has seven years experience as a business owner and manager.

He was a member of the Law Society of Tasmania’s Litigation Committee (2018-2022), and was the Tasmanian representative of the Law Council of Australia’s National Elder Law Committee for five years.

Sam is the co-author of the only text on Statutory Wills (Court authorised Wills) in Australia, published by Lexis Nexis: Statutory Will Applications: A Practice Guide.    He is a regular presenter for client groups, other lawyers, professional education providers and others.   He has presented twice for the Tax Institute of Australia at their National Conference (2011 and 2016).  An article by Sam about the Family Court’s jurisdiction in relation to Family Trusts has been published internationally by STEP, and Sam has been a guest on several interviews on ABC local radio about Wills and succession law issues of interest.

Sam is an Associate member of the Tax Institute of Australia.

Complimentary copies of Sam’s papers:

  • Estate Planning Techniques to Avoid Disputes Involving Family Farms” presented at the 2017 National Conference of the STEP is available here.
  • Running A Succession Law Practice: Facing the Competing Challenges Head-on” presented at the 2019 6th Annual Melbourne Wills & Estates Conference is available here


Client Testimonials

  • “Thank you so much for all your assistance, it has made the journey less stressful to have sincere and realistic advice”.  Angela, Hobart


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