Estate Planning

Our experienced solicitors can provide legal advice and representation in the following areas:

  • Guardianship and Administration matters advice and representation for trustees
  • Fixed cost, on-the-spot wills
  • Preparation of simple and complex wills
  • Testamentary Trust wills
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Enduring Powers of Guardianship
  • Complex Estate Planning

 

Wills:

We prepare offer “on the spot” Will drafting and amendments, which in most cases concludes with you signing a legally valid Will at your first interview. Some points for you to consider are:

  • Who you choose to be your Executor/Executrix and Trustee
  • Who you choose to be your beneficiaries (and their attainable age)
  • How you own the assets in your Estate will determine whether they will or will not pass under your Will.

Please note that if you are in business or self-employed, the Will may not control your business assets. For Family Trusts, Family Companies and partnerships, detailed consideration of your business ownership as part of your estate plan is appropriate. Please contact our offices for more information on how we can assist.

 

Enduring Power of Attorney:

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that enables the appointment of a trusted person (or two people) to make financial and property decisions on your behalf. Essentially, the Attorney has the Power to ‘step in the shoes’ of the person giving the Power of Attorney. For example, EPA’s are very helpful for partners or family members who work away as it allows an additional person to do financial matters on their behalf.

An Enduring Power of Attorney can also come into effect only in the event you have lost your capacity to make financial decisions. Therefore, it can provide peace of mind to clients for the future.

Enduring Power of Guardianship:

An Enduring Power of Guardianship is a legal document (similar to the Enduring Power of Attorney) that enables the appointment of a trusted person (or people) to make lifestyle and medical and other treatment decisions on your behalf.

An Enduring Power of Guardianship can only commence after you have lost your capacity to make your own personal decisions. Therefore it can provide peace of mind to clients for the future.

Testamentary Trust Wills:

A Testamentary Trust Will is a Trust established under a Will. As a general rule, they are best suited to larger Estate bequests. The Trust does not come into effect until after the death of the person making the Will.

Incorporating a Testamentary Trust within your Will can offer valuable advantages over a “simple Will” by providing significant flexibility along with asset protection and potentially substantial tax minimisation benefits for those who benefit from your Estate. Note that this tax effectiveness does not mean a loss of control, and the Trustee has the discretion to “income split” and/or distribute capital and income between your nominated beneficiaries.

If you would like further information on Testamentary Trust Wills, please contact our offices to book an appointment.

 

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“The Curse of Home Made Wills”

“Home made wills are a curse.   Occasionally where the assets of a testator are limited and where the beneficiaries are not in dispute no difficulties may arise in the administration of an estate… But where, as here, the estate of the deceased is substantial, the will is opaque and there is no agreement among the beneficiaries, the inevitable result is an expensive legal battle which is unlikely to satisfy everyone.  All of this could have been avoided if the testator had consulted a lawyer and signed off on a will which reflected his wishes.  There is no question but that engaging the services of a properly qualified and experienced lawyer to draft a will is money well spent”.

Per Judge Heenan in Gray v Gray [2013] WASC 387

 

See article here:

Court brands homemade Wills a curse

 

Court brands homemade Wills a curse