What to Do When Someone Dies Without a WillWhat to Do When Someone Dies Without a Will

About Me

What to Do When Someone Dies Without a Will

Hello, my name is Kerry. Last year my mother died suddenly. When we went through her papers, we discovered she didn't have a will. My mother had been married to another man before she met my father and I had a couple of step brothers. Unfortunately, they turned up on our doorstep and started to demand that we hand over my mother's life savings to them and their family. I contacted a lawyer who specialises in probate law. She talked me through my case and explained how we would defend it in court. Thankfully, the matter was resolved to my satisfaction and I could start to grieve for my mother. I decided to start this blog to help others who have a contested will on their hands.

What To Expect In Court If Your Dog Attacks Another Person

Dogs are a much-loved pet in Australia with dogs of all shapes and sizes considered a furry member of the family in many homes across the country. Most dogs are loving and loyal companions but occasionally, a previously well-behaved pet can become aggressive and attack someone you know or a complete stranger.

If your dog attacks and harms someone else, then you may find that both you and your pet are in hot water. Depending on the severity of the attack, your dog may be declared dangerous and you may have conditions imposed on their presence in public places or there may be a destruction order made that means your dog will need to be euthanised.

You may also find yourself facing charges, either civil or criminal, because of your dog's attack. If you find yourself in this situation, here is what you can expect to happen in court.

Court summons

If charges are laid against you because of your dog's attack, then you will be summoned to appear before a magistrate in court. At this point, you can either plead guilty or not guilty to the charges or you can request an adjournment in order to seek legal advice. In most states, you can also ask for a diversion.

A diversion means that you agree to the charges laid against you which allows you to enter a diversion program. This means that the charges are no longer criminal and you'll face either a fine, community service or an appropriate training program. However, if the person who was attacked by your dog objects, you won't be able to take this option.


If you want to plead not guilty or you wish to adjourn in order to seek legal advice, then your hearing will take place at a later date in the same court. It's wise to find a lawyer who has experience in this area of law to ensure that you get sound advice that will result in the best outcome for you at your hearing.

Your lawyer can give you the pros and cons of both a guilty and not guilty plea. If you decide to plead not-guilty, they can help you to mount a strong defence against the charges that will see the likelihood of hefty penalties being applied.

Verdict and sentencing

Once your case has been heard, the magistrate will determine your guilt if you plead not-guilty, and your penalty whether you plead guilty or not-guilty. The penalty is determined by the severity of the attack and specific mitigating or aggravating factors surrounding the incident.

In many cases, you'll be issued with a fine and often you'll be ordered to pay compensation to the victim for their injuries and suffering. In very extreme cases, such as when a person is killed or critically harmed, you may even be sentenced to jail and end up with a criminal record.