Estate and Succession Law

Succession law is an umbrella to a number of different areas: Estate planning, wills, powers of attorney, advance health directives, estate administration and estate litigation.

Estate and Succession Planning

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Wills

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Advance Health Directives

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Estate Administration And Estate Litigation

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Powers of attorney (enduring and general)

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Estate and Succession Planning

Estate and succession planning is not simply a matter of preparing a will or a trust deed. Estate planning requires a careful review of all your property (assets and liabilities), and a clear understanding of your family. It is a complex process, which utilises a variety of different professional tools and legal know-how.

Estate planning involves three main objectives:

  1. Accomplishing your personal family goals;
  2. Easing the management of your estate;
  3. Taxation planning

Estate planning is a collaborative exercise, as such there are a number of people who may need to be involved in the process; including your lawyer, your accountant, and your financial advisor/planner.

Important points to consider:

  • Do you wish to provide adequately for your spouse and dependents?
  • Do you want to treat all children equally? Should you treat all children equally?
  • What financial arrangements do you have in place for your retirement?
  • Do you want to protect your estate from unnecessary taxes, family maintenance claims and/or bankruptcy claims?
  • Do you want to have any social security entitlements (i.e. pension) for yourself or spouse affected?
  • Superannuation entitlements;
  • If you own a business, do you want it sold or kept in the family?

Contact our team today on (07) 3397 5010 to arrange an appointment to discuss your estate plan.

Estate Administration

Have you lost a loved one and are unsure as to what you need to do? Have you been appointed an executor under a will and need advice? We are here to help you at this difficult time.

Did you know administering an estate is no longer a simple task? There are a number of steps and time frames that an executor must abide by, or they could end up in a difficult situation even though they had good intentions.

We can help you and your family with many aspects of administering a loved one’s estate, including:

  • Obtaining a grant of probate or letters of administration,
  • Administering an estate in accordance with a will
  • Administering an estate in accordance with the rules of intestacy (i.e. without a will)
  • Defending a family provision claim;
  • Initiating a family provision claim.

Contact our team today on (07) 3397 5010 to arrange an appointment.

Claims against Estates – Family Provision Application

Do you feel that you have been unfairly treated in the will of a loved one? Do you want to discuss this with the executor and your family but you are unsure of what you need to know beforehand? Or how to discuss it with them?

If you feel that you have been treated unfairly and want to discuss your options, please get in touch with us.

There are strict time limitations for such applications and they require no small amount of investigation, so don’t leave this to the last minute – contact us today on (07) 3397 5010 to arrange an appointment.

Wills

Do you know what happens to your estate if you don’t have a will? Do you want your family to have to deal with the consequences? If not, then it’s time to make a will.

By making a will you are clearly communicating your instructions as to what YOU want to happen to your assets. As you have left written instructions, you are also greatly reducing the angst and anxiety your family will be going through at such a difficult time in their lives.

If you don’t have a will, your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy, and an unintended beneficiary may benefit from your estate.

When organising your will, there is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ template. At Williams Lawyers, we work closely with you to include all the information that is relevant to YOU. We also encourage the involvement of your financial planners and/or accountants to assist in best protecting the value of your estate.

Our services include the preparation of simple, complex and discretionary testamentary trust wills.

What should you consider when making your will?

  • Protection of assets for the beneficiaries, particularly in blended-family situations;
  • Expressing what, how and to whom, you intend your property to be distributed;
  • Guardianship of children;
  • Expression of wishes (for example how you would like your children to be raised and educated);
  • Charitable donations;
  • Superannuation entitlements;
  • Organ donations
  • Funeral arrangements.

You may be tempted to make a homemade will, but this could cost your family heartache and money after you’ve gone. To organise a concise, legally binding will that expresses your wishes clearly, contact our helpful team today on (07) 3397 5010.

Are you considering leaving a gift to a charity? If so, we recommend you visit www.probonoaustralia.com.au

Powers of attorney (enduring and general)

Do you care who makes decisions for your personal wellbeing if you cannot make them for yourself? Do you care who makes decisions as to your finances if you can’t? If you have answered yes, then you need a power of attorney.

Completing a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is not a document to be casually completed and put in a drawer. You are giving your attorney/s significant power to handle your affairs, and you need to know exactly what you can do, what your attorney/s can do, and what limitations you wish to place on your attorney/s (if any).

There are a variety of situations during your life where you may need an attorney to make decisions for you, either at your direction or upon you being mentally incapable. These can include:

  • If you are overseas, and need someone to look after your financial affairs whilst you are absent;
  • If you would like to authorise a particular person to buy and sell property or particular items on your behalf;
  • If a decision needs to be made regarding your personal/health and financial matters, and for whatever reason you are unable to make these decisions yourself (temporary or permanent incapacity).

If you’d like to organise a Power of Attorney, call our team today on (07) 3397 5010 to find out how we can help.

For attorneys

Have you been appointed an attorney and now you are required to act upon it? Do you know what you are required to do? Are you unsure as to whether you are authorised to undertake a particular transaction?

You may have been appointed as an attorney for a relative or friend, and they may have told you what they would like you to do in particular situation. But do you know what the law says you must do?

If you have any doubts or concerns as to what is required of you as an attorney, then you need to seek legal advice BEFORE you take any action.

Contact our team today on (07) 3397 5010 to arrange an appointment to discuss.

Advance health directive

Do you have strong wishes as to your health care should you be unconscious or in a coma? If so, we recommend you consider making an advance health directive.

If you become seriously ill you may not be able to communicate the decisions you would make about your own healthcare.

An advanced heath directive will:

  • Allow you to state what medical treatment or heath care you would like;
  • Enable you to appoint an attorney for personal/health matters;
  • Give you peace of mind.

We can help you set up an advanced health directive or change or revoke a prior advance health directive if the details are no longer correct.

Contact our team today on (07) 3397 5010 to arrange an appointment to discuss.