Wills & Estates

Estate Planning

Our Wills & Estate Planning Lawyers are involved in more than just putting a will in place. They are about securing your assets in the most tax effective way, to benefit and provide for those you care about, in the event of your incapacity or death, or even arising from bankruptcy or legal prosecution.

Our experienced lawyers have significant expertise in helping clients to protect their assets through estate planning.

Our Estate Planning Lawyers can assist you by:

  • reviewing the ownership structures you have for your assets (including property, investments, superannuation and life insurance)
  • examining key estate planning issues that apply to your circumstances with a goal of minimising taxation and implementing tax-efficient structures for asset ownership
  • identifying the best way of providing for your dependents, and minimising potential claims against your estate
  • reviewing the protection of your assets (including once they are in the hands of your beneficiaries after you die) against creditors and breakdowns of their relationships
  • preparing documentation to give effect to the identified solutions, whether it be wills, testamentary discretionary trusts, superannuation death benefit nominations or a restructure of family business structures (such as family trust trustees, business succession agreements or the like)
  • Documentation to deal with incapacity (including powers of attorney, appointment of enduring guardian and/or living wills)
  • preparing and reviewing family trust deeds and superannuation deeds to ensure they are current and relevant
  • advising on and implementing testamentary trusts which can offer taxation and asset protection advantages.

Dangers of neglecting estate planning:

  • your assets do not benefit the people you want
  • your beneficiaries pay unnecessary tax
  • your assets are at risk of claims by people seeking a part of your estate
  • your intended beneficiaries may miss out if:
    –  your spouse or partner remarry
    –  your spouse or partner is at risk from creditors or legal claims
    –  your children are too young or unwise to manage assets
  • unnecessary difficulty, stress, delay and expense incurred by your family i.e. you have left your family a mess with which to cope
  • disputes; legal costs; potentially years of litigation reducing dramatically the value of your estate that you worked so hard to create
  • if you wanted to benefit a charity or create a foundation/scholarship – it could fail if challenged.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Estate Planning?

Management and structuring of your affairs to ensure that you and your family best cope with life’s future events and risks (especially death, disability, bankruptcy and relationship breakdown).

What Estate Planning could be implemented for me?

Your Estate Planning could include a discretionary trust in your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and the Appointment of an Enduring Guardian.  It may also involve adjustments to asset ownership and superannuation and/or life insurance arrangements.

What are some of the dangers of neglecting Estate Planning?

Wealth you have accumulated does not benefit the people you want in a timely and tax effective manner.  Also, your assets may be at heightened risk of claims on your estate, as well as in the hands of your beneficiaries should they re‑partner, go bankrupt or suffer a disability.  If you have children who are minors,  careful estate planning can provide for their guardianship and care arrangements.

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