Known around the office for her sense of humour and friendly nature, Gallie Miles Legal Executive Rachael Courtman has a natural affinity for Estate Administration work. Here, we get to know the Pirongia local a little better.
After a stint overseas working in hospitality, Gallie Miles Registered Legal Executive Rachael Courtman was looking for a new career challenge.
“I’d returned home to the Waikato and signed up for an administration course at Wintec. Then my friends encouraged me to enrol in a Legal Executive course instead, thinking it would be a good fit for my personality,” says Rachael.
“At Wintec, the Estate Administration aspects of my course were my favourite parts. They drew me in for sure.”
After qualifying as a Registered Legal Executive and working at a couple of other law firms, Rachael was invited to establish a specific Estates Administration service at Gallie Miles in 2021, working under supervising partner Shelley Greer.
Rachael puts her affinity for Estate Administration work down to her inquisitive nature.
“I’m naturally curious and I feel like I am really helping people in my work. It’s great that I get genuine fulfilment in my role,” she says.
“Estate law can be quite overwhelming for clients. They’re often dealing with a loss of a loved one at the same time, so I try to put things into layman terms to help them understand and reduce their stress.”
Rachael says Estate Administration involves following a set process from drafting probate or letters of administration, to meeting with clients, anticipating how the estate will work, paying bills and clearing debts once probate is received, then dividing up the money as per the instructions of the will.
But she adds that every Estate Administration matter is different too, and she can have up to 100 files open at the same time.
“Depending on the situation, sometimes it can get quite intense, especially with blended families. In some of the more complex situations, my job may involve diffusing situations between parties, to ensure that the executors are supported to carry out the terms of the Will.”
“At the end of the day, a lot of it is about making clients feel comfortable and having good communication to make sure everyone understands,” she says.
When not working, Rachael lives at a property on a family farm towards Pirongia. She says she loves her ‘wholesome weekends’ and enjoys getting outdoors and catching up with friends.
Quick Fire Questions
What are you known for in the office? My quick wit and sense of humour
What would you be voted ‘most likely to’ at Gallie? Go off the grid.
What do you do on the weekends? I love my wholesome weekends at home, pottering outside, going for walks and coffee with friends and generally getting outside.
What do you drive? My Grandma’s old Mitsubishi Colt, Gloria. I treat my car like a second home so anything flash just would not do!
What’s your favourite meal? Anything Vietnamese or just a dirty old KFC.