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Wills & Estates

Wills & Estates

As Benjamin Franklin said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Whilst most of us engage accountants to assist with our taxes, few of us engage a lawyer to help prepare for the other inevitability.

There are important key areas every adult should be aware of for the sake of their family and loved ones and take action to have the necessary documents put in place in the event the inevitable does happen.

Why do I need a Will?

If you die without making a Will (‘intestate’),  your estate will pass to your legal next of kin in the shares provided by the Administration Act.

This may mean the people you most want to provide for from your estate may not get anything at all. Also, it may take longer and cost more to administer your Estate.

For more information on the importance of making a will Click Here.

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney allows competent adults to choose who will manage their financial and legal affairs and how their affairs will be managed, if they lose their own decision making capacity.

An Enduring Power of Attorney provides a safe guard for the future and prevents the need for the appointment of an administrator.

An attorney can not make personal, lifestyle or treatment decisions only a Guardian can do this.

For more information on Enduring Powers of Attorney Click Here.

What is an Enduring Powers of Guardianship?

An Enduring Power of Guardianship (EPG) is a legal document enabling you (the appointor) to appoint a person of your choice to make personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions on your behalf if you lose the ability to make these decisions for yourself because of an illness or injury.  The person appointed (the appointee) becomes your enduring guardian.  An Enduring Power of Guardianship cannot be used to appoint someone to make property and financial decisions. If you want someone to manage your financial affairs you have to make an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA).

For more information on Enduring Powers of Guardianship Click Here.

Testamentary Trust

A testamentary trust is a trust established by a will which only comes into effect when the person making the will, dies.

Testamentary trusts are usually established to give flexibility and to protect assets.

Some reasons why you might use your will to establish a testamentary trust:

  • The beneficiaries are minors
  • The beneficiaries have diminished mental capacity
  • You do not trust the beneficiary to use their inheritance wisely
  • You want to minimize the risk of family assets being split as part of a divorce settlement
  • You do not want family assets to be caught up in bankruptcy proceedings

A testamentary trust is administered by a trustee usually appointed by the will.

A trustee must look after the assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries until the trust vests (expires).

The end date of a trust will be a specific date such as when a minor reaches a nominated age or a beneficiary reaches a particular age or milestone in their life, like getting married or attaining a particular qualification.  The vesting date cannot be more than 80 years from the date of establishment.

Formbys Lawyers can assist you in all areas of Estate Planning and Administration, Succession Planning, Testamentary Trusts and family plans for how family assets are to be managed and who is to control them, on death, please call our office to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced lawyers.

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