Wills and Estates
We’re experts in Wills, Power of Attorneys and Probates
How having a will protects you
A will outlines how your estate – the things you own – will be distributed to your relatives when you pass away. This is a legally recognised document that safeguards your final wishes.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money or own a house, you may want to leave other valuable or sentimental items to particular people.
Passing away without a will
Your assets are distributed according to a legal formula which can cause complications, delays and extra costs for your loved ones. To avoid these complications, it’s important to consider the following questions:
How will your property and assets be distributed when you’re gone?
Power of Attorney
Who makes financial and legal decisions for you when you can’t?
Is your will legally valid and not subject to legal challenge?
Couple — $495
Single — $385
Couple — $550
Single — $440
Free Estate Planning Toolkit
A working document designed to become the ideal place to store all your personal information, to make it easier for those left behind after you pass away.
|Estate Planning Toolkit
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Why do you need a Will?
Without a Will you are effectively forgoing your right to have a say in how your assets are distributed and making it harder and probably more costly for your loved ones to deal with your assets after you die.
If you do not have a Will, what happens to your assets will probably be different to what you would have wanted.
For instance, if you die without a Will leaving a spouse and children then your assets may go all to your spouse or may be split between your spouse and children according to a rigid formula. If you die without a Will and do not have a spouse or children then, in most parts of Australia, all your assets will go to your parents which could affect their pension eligibility.
Also, do not forget that your Will only has effect if you die, and that to cover the potential need for others to have authority to deal with your assets whilst you are alive, you need to have other documents such as an Enduring Power of Attorney in place.
Should I update my Will?
You can change your Will at any time either by completing a special document containing the change(s) only (called a codicil) or by completing a whole new Will. If you already have a Will then you should review it now and ensure it still meets your needs.
You should also review your Will at least every 3-5 years or whenever your circumstances or assets change significantly (such as if you marry, separate, have children, acquire significant assets or buy into or start a new business).
What about joint property, super, companies, trusts and life insurance?
Your Will cannot cover property held as joint tenants (as opposed to tenants in common) which will automatically pass to a surviving joint owner. So for example if you and your spouse own your house in joint names then your spouse will become the sole owner irrespective of the contents of your Will.
Your will may not properly cover assets held outside Australia. If this applies to you please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
Your Will can only cover assets that you own or have rights to personally. Your Will cannot give away assets held in private companies or trusts, nor will it necessarily cover your superannuation or life insurance. If you have private companies or trusts or any life insurance held outside superannuation then you should contact us to discuss how those assets or structures would be affected by your death and what you can do to best ensure that your desired outcomes are achieved.