Wills & Estate Planning

 

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”

 

Benjamin Franklin

A Will is only one part of complete estate planning. Our estate planning lawyers ensure that all the elements of your estate are properly attended to. The most common Estate Planning considerations are:

 

1. Your Will

 

Anyone who owns assets should have a valid Will. At its simplest, a Will is just a document that distributes your assets to chosen beneficiaries upon your death.

Your death would be distressing for your family. A badly drafted Will creates further distress. Using a lawyer ensures that the instructions to your Executors and family members are clear and precise.

You may also want to consider including a Testamentary Trust in your Will. Our lawyers can help you appoint a suitable Attorney.can discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

 

2. Superannuation

 

Superannuation is usually the second-largest asset of many Australians when they die. However, superannuation is not automatically dealt with by a Will. Our lawyers ensure that your superannuation is dealt with correctly and tax-effectively upon your death.

 

3. An Enduring Power of Attorney

 

An Enduring Power of Attorney operates prior to your death. It appoints someone to make financial decisions on your behalf – for example if you are disabled. Choosing an Attorney is an important decision. Our lawyers can help you appoint a suitable Attorney.

 

4. An Enduring Power of Guardianship

 

It is now possible in Western Australia to grant an Enduring Power of Guardianship. This allows you to appoint someone to make medical and lifestyle decisions on your behalf. A Guardian can only act on your behalf when you have lost mental capacity. Our lawyers can help you appoint a suitable Guardian.

 

5. An Advance Health Directive

 

Advance Health Directives allow you to give binding, detailed instructions to your family and medical professionals regarding your medical treatment. These only operate when you have lost mental capacity.

Our lawyers ensure that the instructions in your Advance Health Directive are clear and unambiguous.

 

6. A Discretionary Trust

 

Assets held in Discretionary Trusts (‘Family Trusts’) are not usually dealt with by a Will or Enduring Power of Attorney. Generally, the Trust deed itself deals with the death or incapacity of any controlling person (such as the Trustee). Our lawyers can ensure that the Trust deed properly deals with trust assets if something happens to you.

 

7. Business Succession planning

 

Only a small percentage of business owners have a written strategy to deal with their business upon a principal’s death or incapacity. Our lawyers specialise in business succession planning. They help protect the business owners and ensure continuity of the business itself.