Michael Henley

Michael is the head of HWL Ebsworth’s Wills and Estate Planning practice group, and has over 40 years of experience in the area of estate and property work. He has been recognised by the NSW Law Society as an Accredited Specialist in the Wills and Estates area since 1995.  As such he is involved in estate planning at the highest level, is engaged in complex probate administration & is prominent in all aspects of estate litigation. He regularly is asked to advise on structuring of companies and trusts and their establishment and also how best to transfer wealth between generations. He regularly acts for clients interstate.

Michael has been recognised by Doyle’s Legal Guide in the Leading tier of ‘Wills, Estates & Succession Planning Lawyers – News South Wales, 2020’ and has performed the role of public notary since 1991.


Michael’s experience includes advising:

  • A High net worth family on a complex estate matter including a review and amendment of  over 50 family discretionary trusts;
  • A Client with international and jurisdictional issues in relation to the spouse and children of the Will maker being U.S. citizens and the complexities with death duty minimisation in the U.S.;
  • A High net worth family on preparation of a Succession Planning deed and over 100 transfer documents in which the parents transferred the bulk of their wealth including trusts to their children prior to their deaths to avoid disputation between the children;
  • Court appointed Administrator where siblings were in dispute for over 13 years in relation to their parents estates involving numerous Court appearances in the Supreme and High Court;
  • Litigant Administrator in the leading case in NSW on the right of a beneficiary to call for inheritance;
  • Family Provision Litigation for the estate in the defence of family provision claims involving assets and family located in three jurisdictions;
  • Complex Estate Administration by advising and assisting the executors of an estate where the terms of the Will were unclear requiring Court intervention in a construction suit and numerous complexities involving administration of testamentary trusts with property in multiple jurisdictions; and
  • Custodian by providing estate planning clients with comprehensive dossier of all legal documents that exist and being safe custody custodian of important original documentation.

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