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Preparing your Will is one of the most important things you will do in your life, therefore finding a lawyer you trust to assist you with this process is vital. ALA Law will draft your will so that upon your passing your assets are distributed to those whom you have chosen.
We will also assist you in creating an estate planning to:
- Minimise taxation consequences of your passing;
- Protect those who are your priority;
- Make provision for your children and minor beneficiaries; and
- Minimise the risk of your estate becoming contested successfully should your circumstances be complex.
Prior to attending with one of the Solicitors at ALA Law (formally Amanda Little and Associates), we ask you to consider the following questions:
- Who would you like to appoint as your Executor? (Your Executor is a person who takes your Will and distributes your estate).
- Do you want to appoint more than one Executor?
- In the circumstances where they cannot be your Executor/Executors who do you want to be your Alternate Executor?
- Are there any specific gifts you would like to give? If so, what are they and who would you like to give them to?
- Where would you like the residual of your Estate to go? Would you like to give it your Wife/Husband, your partner, your children, or any other third party?
- Are there are minor beneficiaries of the Estate? If so, would you like to appoint a separate Trustee as opposed to the Executor to manage the Trust monies pending your minor beneficiaries coming of age? How old do you want the minor beneficiaries to be before they can access their inheritance?
- Do you have any infant children? If so, who would you like to appoint as the guardian of your children should you pass away prior to them attaining the age of 18?
- Do you have any requests for burial or cremation? And if so, are there any specific details you would like to include within your Will?
- Are you an organ donor? If so, would you like this request to be included in your Will?
ALA Law have in excess of 30 years collective experience in drafting complex wills and estate planning. Common situations which create complexity include:
- Multiple marriages/relationships and children from each relationship;
- Divorces and Marriages;
- Interplay between Family Law and Estates;
- Interplay between Family Trusts, Self-Managed Superannuation Funds and Corporations and Estates;
- Not including ‘provision’ for those who may be entitled to provision;
- When a person whom would otherwise be entitled to provision in the estates, but has acted in a way that ‘disentitles them’ to provision;
- Complex gifts;
- forgiveness of debts;
- Disabled beneficiaries; and
- Minor beneficiaries.
There are many more situations wherein specialised knowledge is required to ensure that proper provisions are made and your wills and estate plan is considered carefully.
There are many reasons why you need a Will, but the most basic is that the assets you have should be gifted to those that you have chosen, not those who are specified by law if you die without a Will (or intestate).
You may also need a Will for the following reasons (this is not a complete list):
- You have large asset holdings;
- Complex asset holdings (businesses, family trusts);
- Divorced and remarried;
- Complex family situation;
- Wish to leave someone out of a Will that would be entitled under the law.
If you die without a will – you die intestate – which means that your estate will be distributed according to the law not your wishes.
Further such distribution will usually not be the most tax effective way to gift your assets leading to unnecessary tax bills for your estate and your beneficiaries.
You should make a Will after you turn 18.
It is particularly important to make a Will (or update your Will) after you are married, divorced or if you are living in a de facto/same sex relationship.
Situations where you may want to update your Will might include:
- Buying a house
- Birth of a child
- Change of beneficiary/executor
- Change of specific gifts
- Change in relationship with family members
- Change in asset holdings
Marriage will invalidate any Will made prior to the marriage. It is extremely important that you prepare a new will after you are married, or that your Will is prepared in contemplation of marriage if you are preparing a will prior to a marriage, so it is not invalidated.
Divorce itself does not in fact invalidate your Will, but it will likely revoke your former spouse as Executor and or revoke the gift you made to them. It is important if you are planning on getting divorced that our will is made “In contemplation of Divorce”
Do you have any questions about your existing? If so please call us to make an appointment.
Prior to attending your conference with us, we will send you an information form for your completion and to assist you to gather the relevant information required.