Estate planning is an important and essential step for every individual, no matter their situation.
When forming a comprehensive estate plan, it’s important that you understand how issues such as taxation, legislation, superannuation, protection of your wealth and assets, and medical treatment will impact your Will and the administration of your estate.
DBH Wills and Estates Lawyers can advise you on your unique situation, and provide accurate, relevant and timely services and information about all of the following:
It is prudent to enhance the protection of your assets in the event of your death. Your beneficiaries can be protected from a wide range of unforeseen circumstances that may arise including potential claims from former partners/spouses.
A Family Trust is established (usually for a group of family members) under management by a Trustee to provide protection of your assets. It comes into effect immediately and differs from a Testamentary Trust which only comes into effect upon your death.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a formal legal document granting others the power to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. Typically, this may come into effect if you lose your mental capacity or are unavailable and not contactable in a time of need. It also allows others to sign documents on your behalf.
Advanced Care Directives
An Advanced Care Directive is a legal document appointing someone to make personal, medical and lifestyle decisions on your behalf. The appointment takes effect in the event of you becoming incapable of making your own decisions. When making decisions on your behalf, your guardian must:
- Take into account any wishes you have expressed.
- Act in your best interests.
- Wherever possible, make the same decision that you would have made.
You cannot appoint a person who is providing you with professional care, treatment or accommodation.
Protect your Inheritance
The value of your Estate can be eroded if you fail to properly prepare a Will or structure your assets to suit your specific circumstances. It is a good idea to obtain advice and plan how best to pass on your wealth, with the aim of minimising the costs of administration, tax, and the potential for inheritance claims against the Estate. Special provisions can be made for beneficiaries who are minors or suffering legal incapacity, to ensure that their inheritance is properly managed.
Superannuation Trust Deeds
A Superannuation Trust deed is a legal document that sets out the rules for running a Superannuation fund – what the trustee can and can’t do. If you are running a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF), you need to make all of the decisions and meet all of the statutory requirements regarding: Compliance, Administration, Reporting and Tax Obligations.
A Testamentary trust is a trust established within a Will. It becomes activated only upon the death of the testator who is specified in a Will. It is created to protect the assets accumulated during the testator’s’ lifetime. It is particularly worth considering a Testamentary trust when minors are the main beneficiaries of an Estate.
A Will is a legal document for you to say how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. A Will also allows you to choose an Executor who will be responsible for ensuring all of your expectations are met.