Nobody likes to think about it , but inevitably one day you will have to leave your assets in someone else’s hands. Our Team of Wills & Probate Lawyers can guide you.
It’s important to decide what will happen to your assets ahead of time to ensure that your family is taken care of and your affairs are dealt with in accordance with your wishes.
Estate planning goes beyond drafting wills and requires the involvement of a knowledgeable and experienced Wills & Probate lawyers. Developing a successful plan requires:
- Thorough investigation and valuation of the testator’s assets
- Assessment of the taxes which various components of the estate may subject to, either before or after the death of the testator
- Consideration of potential claims against the estate by third parties (such as for Family Provision Applications).
- Determination of the appropriate legal entities and instruments to give effect to the wishes of the testator.
Estate planning should ideally involve all relevant family members as it will take into account not only provisions for your retirement income but also the plans, aptitudes and existing assets of younger generations.
Appoint a decision maker
In addition to your testamentary wishes, a succession plan should include clear instructions to family members about your legal and medical wishes, to ensure they can make appropriate decisions on your behalf if you are unable to due to an illness or accident. You may consider executing a Power of Enduring Guardianship and/or a Power of Attorney in order to give another person legal authority to make decisions with respect to specific matters on your behalf.
Regular Re-evaluation is Vital
Most importantly, your succession plan requires ongoing attention and should be reviewed following major changes in your circumstances, such as:
- Getting married
- Getting divorced
- Changes in the family’s asset pool
- Changes in working conditions such as the buying or selling of a business
- Changes to superannuation, insurance policies or tax levels
- The establishment of discretionary trusts