Wills & Estate Planning
A Will is a document that says who gets what assets or a right to use assets on the will maker’s death. In some cases that’s an easy thing to do and in others it’s not.
A Will is a part, but not all of an Estate Plan. An Estate Plan involves looking at all the structures and benefits a person has, including things that can’t be dealt with in a Will like superannuation, Trusts, and insurances to make sure that everything works together to achieve the client’s goal. The focus of an Estate Plan may be to make sure the Estate is administered in a way that is tax effective, it may be to make sure that control of assets passes to a trusted person or persons but that other people can get the benefit or it may be to protect someone who is vulnerable. Often coming up with a good Estate Plan means seeking input from the party’s accountant, financial planner, insurance broker and/or investment manager.
When it comes to a Will there are as many options as people. A Will can transfer assets straight to the beneficiaries, it can create a Trust that is effective for tax purposes (called a Testamentary Trust, find out more here), it can give someone a right to live in or receive the benefit of property or do a combination of all of them. If you have a clear idea of what the Will should say and do we can achieve that for you. If you do not yet have a clear idea then we can help you work it out.
Some of the things to think about are:
• Who should benefit from the estate?
• Should there be any restrictions (ie, should they have to reach a certain age);
• Who should be the executor (the person who puts the Will into effect)?
• If your first choice executor cannot do it then who should your back up executor be?
That list isn’t all there is to it. Depending on the circumstances there may be other things to consider. If in doubt, as one of our Estate Planning lawyers to help you out here