Wills and Estate Planning
Do you have a Will? It is important that your wishes as to how your assets including your real estate, personal property, shares and money in a bank account are to be dealt with after your death are contained in a properly prepared Will.
At Websters Lawyers, we have lawyers that specialise in preparing wills that clearly express your intentions, ensuring that you have appointed persons who you trust to carry out your instructions.
Estate Planning Process
We will help you understand what you need to consider in your estate planning process to ensure that your future plans are properly dealt with and are in accordance with your directions. There are many matters that you will need to consider in your estate planning and at Websters Lawyers we can guide you through this procedure and make sure that documents are prepared to suit your needs and preferences.
Sometimes a simple Will is the best way to deal with your assets and we will discuss your specific financial position and family situation to make sure the will reflects your specific instructions and your estate will be distributed in accordance with your wishes. Even if it seems simple, it is important when creating a will to obtain help from a lawyer.
If your particular financial and family situation is more complex, we can advise you as to how to best deal with your estate planning, depending on your particular circumstances. In discussions with you, your accountant or financial planner, we can ascertain your specific objectives and how you wish your beneficiaries to benefit from you estate and we can advise you as to the most effective and practical way to document your wishes.
In assisting you with your estate planning, we will ascertain whether your assets are jointly owned as sometimes not all assets form part of your estate and will pass on directly to your spouse irrespective of your will.
Superannuation and Estate Planning
Superannuation is often one of a major asset that needs to be reviewed in your estate planning. Have you considered how it is to be dealt with after your death? Depending on the rules contained in the Superannuation Fund Trust Deed, the distribution after your death will be in the discretion of the Trustee. Where the superannuation death benefits are paid to the deceased member’s legal personal representative such as an Executor or Administrator, they become part of the deceased’s estate. Some people want to make sure that their superannuation goes to a spouse or children. We can advise you about Binding Death Nominations which require a Trustee to act in accordance with your specific directions.
Do you have a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund? Do you want to make sure that the control of the fund passes to a trusted person or persons that you have specifically nominated? We can advise you as to who can control the fund if you die and consider what arrangements should be made to ensure payment of your death benefit to your preferred beneficiary.
Testamentary Trust and Estate Planning
We can also provide advice about Testamentary Trusts as a way of protecting your beneficiaries and potentially providing a tax effective way of dealing with income and capital in your estate. A Testamentary Trust is a discretionary trust established by a Will and comes in effect after you die. The person managing the trust is called a trustee and generally will be your spouse or your children. The trustee will have the discretion as to which beneficiary receives income and capital depending on their income. This is a complicated area of the law and Websters Lawyers have specialised lawyers to give you advice about these trusts.
As part of the estate planning process, we will also discuss with you, the control of your personal, accommodation and financial affairs, should you lose legal capacity or you have a severe illness. It is important that you also consider the need for Powers of Attorney and Advanced Care Directives in this situation.
For further information on how Websters Lawyers can help you in these areas.