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Estate Planning and Family Trusts

Wills

Many people put off making a will, or do not review their existing will on a regular basis. If you have assets (real estate, or more than $15,000 in bank accounts/shares/ investments) you should make a will, particularly if you have children. If you die intestate (without a will) your family will have to apply to the High Court for Letters of Administration, and your estate will be distributed in accordance with the provisions of the Administration Act, which will probably not be how you would like your estate to be distributed.

If you have a will which is more than five years’ old, you should review it. The nominated executors, guardians for your children, or amount of a bequest may no longer be appropriate. Also if there has been a major change in your life, such as remarriage or entering into a new relationship, or the birth of a child, your will should be reviewed.

If you would like to make a new will, put ‘new will’ in the subject line of the contact form and we will send you a will questionnaire for you to complete and return to us. We will then prepare a draft Will for you to consider. The costs are not significant but the consequences of not having a current Will potentially are.

Enduring Powers of Attorney

Every adult should appoint an attorney who can look after their personal care and welfare and property in the event of that person becoming mentally incapable of managing their own affairs. If you would like us to prepare an enduring power of attorney for you, you should put “enduring power of attorney” in the subject line of the contact form and we will send you draft documents for you to have a look at.

Family Trusts
You should consider forming a family trust if you want to:

  • protect against spendthrift children
  • protect against possible creditor, relationship property and family protection claims
  • improve your chances for government assistance in your old age and protect your hard-earned assets for the next generation
  • reduce future taxation
  • protect your children from any claim that may be made against them in the future from partners and/or creditors.

Simply put ‘family trust formation’ in the subject line of the contact form, and in the message box your marital status (single or married/de facto). We will then send you an information pack on family trusts, together with a family trust questionnaire for completion and return. Once we have received the completed questionnaire we will organise a time for you to come to our offices to discuss and finalise the trust documentation.