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Wills

Do I need a Will?

  • A Will allows you to set out in a legal document what you would like to happen to your assets when you die. If you would like to have a say as to who will receive your assets, when they will receive those assets, and how they will receive those assets, then you need to make a Will.

What happens if I die without a Will?

  • If you die without a valid Will then your assets will be divided according to rules set out in legislation. These rules may not reflect your testamentary wishes.
  • If you have young children, then it is also important to express your wishes in relation to the appointment of guardians for your children.

When should I make a Will?

  • Everybody who is 18 years of age or over should make a Will.
  • It is important that you prepare a Will while you are healthy and have the mental capacity to do so. If you delay, it may be too late.

Do I need to update my Will?

  • Having an out-of-date Will can have devastating consequences for your family and other beneficiaries. It is important that you review your Will regularly (at least every 3 years or when the need arises) to ensure that it accurately reflects your circumstances and testamentary wishes.
  • Marriage revokes a Will, so it is important to make a new Will after you marry. If you plan to marry in the future then you can make a Will in contemplation of marriage so that your Will is not revoked on marriage.

Can I draft a Will myself or use a Will kit?

  • A well-drafted Will requires a lawyer to have a detailed knowledge of succession law, tax law, guardianship law, family provision law, superannuation, and family law. It also requires the lawyer to have a commitment to keeping up-to-date with changes to these laws. A lawyer who specialises in Wills & Estates will have years of experience in drafting complex legal documents and will have an appreciation and understanding of ways to minimise tax and reduce the risk of litigation.
  • The Courts are littered with cases every day involving home-made and poorly drafted Wills. Litigation is stressful and expensive.
  • If you would like peace of mind that your Will is drafted by a professional with expertise in ensuring that your wealth is effectively transferred in accordance with your wishes, then you should engage a lawyer who specialises in Wills & Estates to help you.

What are testamentary trusts?

  • Testamentary trusts are trusts contained in your Will and established on your death.
  • Testamentary trusts provide significant tax benefits and asset protection benefits for your beneficiaries.
  • We have expertise in drafting Wills incorporating a wide range of testamentary trusts which meet your needs and the needs of your beneficiaries (including for beneficiaries with disbailities).

How we can help

We work closely with you to ensure that:

  • all of your assets are properly identified including those held in your individual name, jointly with another person, in trusts, in proprietary companies or in your superannuation fund; and
  • your wealth is transferred to your chosen beneficiaries in the most effective way possible while always seeking to minimise the risks of any disputes between executors, beneficiaries and guardians as well as the risk of estate litigation.

We are happy to work with your accountant, tax advisor and/or financial advisor in preparing your Will.