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Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Estate Planning is something that you should give serious consideration to today, and not wait until it is too late.

An increasingly complex process, given recent changes to superannuation law and the current state of the law in Queensland regarding the contesting of Wills - professional advice has become more important than ever.

If you do not have a Will which has been properly prepared with great thought about your wishes and circumstances, and properly executed, the costs involved in administering your estate can be horrendous.

You should be aware that a Will is only one piece of the pie when it comes to your estate planning. There are many other facets which also require your urgent attention.

At Bennett & Philp Lawyers, our Estate Planning Team can help you to consider a range of issues in preparing your Will and planning your estate including considering who will control your interests and assets if you become incapacitated.

Where required, we can provide you with an individualised estate plan that caters for your specific requirements in relation to asset protection and tax planning.

Contact one of our friendly Wills and Estates Team members, as a matter of importance on +61 7 3001 2999, so that we can help you put your affairs securely in place.

Wills and Estate Planning

Why prepare a Will? Because your responsibilities may outlive you. Regardless of what size your estate may be, making a valid Will is of utmost importance. Careful and considered estate planning ensures that you and your family are prepared for the future and can save needless time, expense and problems for your family after your death. A Will is essential for anyone over the age of 18. It makes a clear outline of what your final wishes are, which can save lengthy court battles and family disputes.

Working closely with you and your financial advisors/accountants, we apply our extensive knowledge and experience in commercial and tax structures to assist clients plan and implement effective Wills and succession plans which:

  • support practical measures to provide for loved ones
  • ensure assets are not left exposed to creditors
  • manage tax implications
  • reduce the risk of disputes; and
  • ensure your assets are distributed as you intend.

Everyone’s circumstances are different - we provide personalised advice when tailoring Wills and estate and succession plans. We advise on a range of options aimed at achieving your objectives including:

  • Wills and estate planning
  • Succession agreements
  • Trust splitting and purpose designed testamentary trusts
  • Testamentary asset protection
  • Blended family strategies
  • Protection of spendthrift beneficiaries and planning against “black sheep” attack
  • Court approved wills for the mentally disabled
  • Disability trusts to protect disabled beneficiaries .

We can also offer necessary dispute resolution services in the unfortunate event there are family disagreements and claims from ex partner’s over the distribution of a deceased’s estate.

Enduring Powers of Attorney

Another aspect of estate planning to be considered by people of all ages is the use of an Enduring Power of Attorney.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a powerful document through which you grant power to a trusted loved one, adviser or friend to make financial and/or health related decisions on your behalf.

As the name suggests, an Enduring Power of Attorney endures in the event that you become mentally or physically incapacitated, unlike a general Power of Attorney which is null and void should this occur.

You can limit the power you give so that it is used only in the event that you lose the capability to make decisions yourself, or it can be an open-ended power.

There are also instances where a power of attorney will partially or completely automatically come to end, such as if you get married, divorced or die. You should always keep in mind that changes may need to be made in certain situations or new powers prepared.

We can also advise you on the drafting and use of an Advance Health Directive.

Superannuation

For a lot of people, superannuation will form a large part of their assets upon their death. You must be aware however, that superannuation is not automatically a part of your estate.

We can help you meet your estate planning objectives. If you want to consult an experienced Lawyer who will ensure that your individual needs are identified and reflected in your Will and Enduring Power of Attorney - Call us on or on-line today.