Wills & Estate Lawyers: Estate Planning Legal Services
Have you been thinking about wills and trusts or transfer of wealth and assets? What you need is expert advice on estate planning and probate. However, we don’t really recommend submitting your wills online. People need a real lawyer when doing something so important, not some sort of online submission.
Basic Estate Planning Checklist
Estate planning is not about having a will alone. Apart from it, you must secure a power of attorney, guardianship, advance care directive and more, depending on your class actions. Your estate plan must be well-written, signed properly, and continually reviewed to ensure that your wishes are respected. In addition, your estate plan should cover your:
- Lifestyle needs
- Tax position
- Retirement plans
- Business plans
- Foreseeable future events (e.g. divorce)
- Family disputes (and where you want your assets to go)
- Financial plans (may include bank account savings, debts, and other payables)
- Health issues (especially if there’s family history)
- Intellectual property
Our law firm accepts instructions in Estate planning matters at a fixed price that’s tailored to your needs. We are one of the top rated estate planning law firms in Sydney and NSW, Australia. Our property attorneys and estate attorneys have multiple years of experience in asset and estate matters and dispute resolution. We’d help you plan a will, together with our estate planning lawyers, to have your family and assets protected in the most sensible and legal way possible. We’re experienced and qualified to handle the following:
- administrative law
- employment law
- financial affairs
- professional negligence
- debt recovery
- estate strategy
- estate taxation
- estate distribution
- dispute resolution
Planning a Will
Preparing and drafting an effective Will or trust and estate plan allows your real property and assets to be disposed of in accordance with your intentions when you die. This not only allows you to avoid probate but also ensures that your wishes are met but also ensures that the heavy burden is not passed on to your loved ones. Done properly, you can have peace of mind knowing that all your assets and liabilities are accounted for by a testamentary trust appropriately.
Are you a surviving spouse, an executor or an administrator of a Will? If so, then you have the legal responsibility to defend the provisions of the Will in the event of the Will being contested by a person who was left out of the Will by the Willmaker.
You can challenge a Will if you have reason to believe that the Will maker was pressured or influenced by other people, or was not mentally capable when he or she made the Will. You may also contest a Will if you think the administrator of the Will (also called as the deceased’s personal representative) was incompetent for trust administration.
It’s a very difficult time when a loved one passes away. At this time, the last thing you want to do is to deal with the probate estate issues. If you suddenly find yourself in charge of the estate (real estate or residential) of a loved one, you probably don’t know where to start. This is when you will call us to help you obtain either a grant of probate or a grant of Letters of Administration.
Administration of an Estate
Whenever a loved one passes away, his or her estate needs to be gathered, organised and managed.
If there is a valid will in place, the administration of the estate is usually a straightforward process. If there is no will, the administration of the estate can be a little more complex and time-consuming.
Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person (also called a trustee) to act on your behalf to deal with your money, real estate, and all other financial matters. An Enduring Guardian is a person who you appoint to manage and deal with your personal or health issues when you no longer can make your own decisions.
Preparing and drafting an effective Will allows your property and assets to be disposed of in accordance with your intentions after death. This not only ensures that your wishes are met but also ensures that the heavy burden is not passed on to your loved ones. If a valid will is not made, the laws of intestacy may apply and your intentions may not be met.
In some circumstances, Wills are often contested because it may be invalid or where a person has been left out.
How does estate planning work?
The process of estate planning involves the following steps:
- Identify personal assets and others that might be owned by companies, another party, trusts, insurance or superannuation.
- Know the potential risks while you’re around and after passing away. These may include divorce, early death, or bankruptcy.
- Working with a probate lawyer to craft and implement a comprehensive plan that lists all assets, makes flexible plans, and minimises risks, estate taxes, and inheritance issues that would be handled by a personal representative.
What should I include in an estate plan?
When preparing estate planning documents, one is expected to include the following:
- Power of attorney (for managing finances and legal matters)
- Power of guardianship (for health care matters)
- Advanced directive for health care (in case there’s medical treatment you do and don’t want)
- Future business investment
- Flexible plans so as to accommodate change in business law and family law
- Combined list of company, trust and superannuation structures
- Section for addressing all possible taxes including income tax, GST, and others
- Unavoidable events such as divorce, retirement, sudden disability, bankruptcy, and potential disputes over the transfer of assets
- Testamentary trust
- Family Law Financial Agreements
- List of insurances involved in all the assets within the plan
- Payable fees (income tax, estate tax, transfer of assets, etc.)
- Retirement plan
- Investment plan
- Wealth accumulation
Why do I need an estate plan?
Having a well-balanced estate plan offers loads of benefits to the property owner, such as:
- For protection for family or beneficiary (or beneficiaries) would survive financially in case of sudden death
- To determine when and how you’re going to retire
- To take care of financial documents in advance in case you become mentally incapacitated
- To know who to pass the authority to when it comes to managing your wealth and assets when the situation comes
- To avoid any surprises in the will
- To prepare for your dependents stability in advance (mentally and financially)
- To figure out who to grant a power of attorney to
- To reassess your insurances
- To know how to distribute your assets accordingly
If making a Will is your intention, our team is ready and able to assist you. In the unfortunate event that you may need to contest a Will or pursue a claim against the estate, our team is well experienced. We will protect your interest and get the results you deserve. Speak to us today to schedule your initial consultation and start having your assets protected.