Darren Hayes


General Expertise

  • Is an Accredited Specialist in Succession Law (wills, estates and trusts) in Queensland.
  • Has returned to private practice in Australia following a number of International Aid placements in the Pacific where he worked as a technical adviser to the Governments of Samoa and Papua New Guinea to overhaul and modernise their trust and estate administration laws, to prepare suitable will and estate administration precedents, and to provide training to enable the Governments to expeditiously administer intestate estates.
  • Drew the Statement of Corporate Objectives, Board Rules, and Code of Conduct for the Public Trustee of Samoa and the Public Curator of Papua New Guinea.

Expertise in Litigation

  • Prepared, advised and appeared in guardianship proceedings, as well as incapacity and advocacy matters in the Supreme Court.
  • Conducted innumerable claims for and against estates involving every type of challenge to wills.
  • Appeared in the Queensland Supreme, District and Magistrates Courts and the Family Court of Australia, the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal and the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal as a solicitor advocate.

Expertise in Wills and Estate Planning

  •  Has personally made hundreds of Enduring Powers of Attorney.
  • Has drafted specialist clauses for a wide range of transactions undertaken by attorneys nationally and internationally.
  • Established wills precedents and trained staff in will-making processes in Australia, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.
  • Has checked and supervised and drawn thousands of wills, including innumerable testamentary discretionary trust wills.
  • Provides broad ranging estate planning advice and services for high net worth individuals and their families, including designing estate plans for individuals with assets in multiple jurisdictions.

Expertise in Estate administration

  •  Obtaining Probate & Letters of Administration in all States and Territories of Australia, and arranged to reseal grants in foreign countries, and advised on the administration of real and personal property in dozens of foreign countries.
  • Advised on the effect of Uniform Succession Law legislation for National Charities, Trustee Companies and the Government.
  • Provides specialist advice on difficult estate administration issues.

Expertise in Business & Personal Succession and Related Areas

  • Estate and business succession planning, advice in respect of every type of express trust and SMSF.
  • Establishing structures to give effect to philanthropic and charitable intentions of clients.
  • Knowledge of the tax and other laws applicable to international and national FIFO workers.
  • Involved in the administration and protection of assets in a wide range of foreign jurisdictions from a number of countries including USA, UK, Russia, France, Singapore, NZ, PNG and Samoa.
  • Advised on matters involving SMSF change of control, foreign travel, removal of inappropriate co-trustees, and dealt with transitional arrangements and court applications where trustees lost capacity.
  • Experience in restructuring complex business arrangements of individuals who had lost capacity, who had adopted business structures many years ago, generally driven only by tax considerations, who had not maintained those structures or who required substantial work to modernise their company constitutions, trusts and business arrangements to minimise penalties and to ensure compliance with modern company, tax and trust laws. This process invariably also involved engagement of a wide range of suitable financial, accounting, tax and business advisers.
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