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FAQ - Wills

Everyone should have a will.  It is important to have a will for a number of reasons.  Firstly, making a will means you have exercised your power to choose.  You can dispose of your assets in the way you choose and you can nominate who you want to administer your estate when you have passed away.  Secondly, you can appoint a guardian or guardians for your young children in your will to ensure your children are looked after by persons of your choosing if both parents have passed away.  Finally, having a will reduces the likely financial obligations imposed on your family by administering your estate after you have passed away in the absence of a will.

It is important to review your will every two or three years to see whether it needs to be updated.  Your circumstances or the circumstances of the people in your life may have changed.  For example:

  • Your nominated executor or a nominated beneficiary may have passed away;
  • You may have had children or grandchildren since you signed your will;
  • You may have specifically gifted property in your will that you have since sold or transferred the ownership of the property to another person or to a trust;
  • You may have commenced a domestic partnership or personal relationship;
  • You may have ended a domestic partnership or divorced your spouse.

Separately, marriage revokes your will, unless your will was expressed in contemplation of marriage.  That means if you made your will before you got married, it may no longer be valid.

Whilst estate planning can be quite complex, broadly speaking, you should turn your mind to the following categories:

  • What do I have? – what are my assets, how are those assets owned, are there any family trusts, what are my liabilities and what kind of liabilities are they, what are my superannuation entitlements?
  • Who are the people in my life I have significant relationships with? – do I have children, a spouse or partner, do I have an ex-spouse or ex-partner, do any of my possible beneficiaries have disabilities I need to cater for?
  • Who do I trust to look after things when I die? – who do I want to be my executor(s), who do I want to be the guardian(s) of my children, who do I want to be the appointor of my family trust?

In summary, it is a trust structure you can create in your Will as a vehicle for asset protection and to provide potential tax benefits for generations of your beneficiaries. In addition to offering protection to individuals with a high net worth, there are a number circumstances where a discretionary testamentary trust can be an invaluable estate planning tool. For example, you may have children from a previous relationship that you want to ensure are looked after in your Will, or you have vulnerable beneficiaries who are at risk of bankruptcy, have a disability, or in receipt of a government benefit.

We have a fixed fee structure based on the complexity of your circumstances and estate planning needs.

To obtain a fixed fee quote, select the ‘Request a quote’ button on the Wills and Estates service page and submit your completed form.  Alternatively, if you would like to speak with a team member, we are happy to answer your questions and provide you with a fixed fee quote.