Your estate plan should reflect your circumstances and stage of life. Even if you have a Will or estate plan, it is wise to review your plan every three years.
Planning for your passing or for situations where you become unable to make important legal decisions (whilst alive) can be difficult, but it is essential “life admi” to ensure you are protected and it is easy to put off.
You have never made a Will, you are young and think you have not much to leave to anyone. However, death benefits payable from superannuation are likely to be more than you expect. You may be planning to travel, your parents may have separated, a family member may have passed away.
You have settled a down bit, may be you have bought a house or you are moving in with a long term partner. This calls for some co-ordination and long term planning with your partner. How would you or your partner manage on your own?
You have started a family, you have acquired many more responsibilities in life. Making sure these responsibilities are looked after is likely to be on your list of concerns. More importantly, ensuring your family is secure in the event of your premature death is important.
Life has not turned out as expected, and you find yourself needing to re-assess your situation. Perhaps you have become a member of a blended family and have to consider your children and your partner’s family needs.
You are thinking about retiring, your children have grown up and are making their own way in life, you are thinking of down-sizing, long-term travel plans, planning for possible care needs as you age or you have children with a disability who will need long term care.
A Will is an important document which governs how your property will be distributed after your death. A carefully drafted Will can often increase the benefits that flow to your family or intended beneficiaries.
Estate planning is more complex than most people realise.
Common reasons for the complexity include, for example, a need to understand which assets can be gifted under a Will and which cannot, what arrangements should be made in a blended family situation, how to minimise claims against an estate, whether assets should be placed into a trust for tax or assets protection reasons, what arrangements should be made for assets held overseas, what estate planning steps should be taken to ensure smooth transfer of a family business.
A person who lacks the legal capacity cannot sign legal documents. As well as drafting Wills, we assist clients to avoid this risk by appointing substitute decision makers to act for them if the situation arises.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document whereby you appoint one or more persons to help manage your legal and financial affairs. This can operate immediately, when a doctor considers you need assistance managing your affairs or when your attorney considers you need assistance managing your affairs. If you appoint your attorney immediately, this does not impinge your rights to manage your own legal and financial affairs, simply that someone else can assist you with this.
An Appointment of Enduring Guardian is a document whereby you appoint one or more persons to help you decide where you live, health care, medical and dental treatment you receive and any other personal services when you are unable to makes these decisions yourself. Ultimately, these decisions relate to medical, social and lifestyle decisions, however, can extend to end of life decisions.
Where appropriate we include your accountant, financial planner or both when reviewing your estate plan and work collaboratively with them to achieve a suitable outcome for you and your family.
At Mullane and Lindsay we appreciate that you are an individual with specific issues to address and also that at the various stages of life you will require different advice.
The Estate Planning team is headed by Practice Group Leader, Cavelle Lindsay. the team includes the talent and expertise of Consultant Robert Lindsay, Solicitor Jan Soriano Consultant Felicity Wardhaugh.
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