From simple wills to the most complex, we can help protect your hard-earned assets now and into the future.
Human nature dictates that when we’re young, no one wants to think about what will happen when we’re older. As we grow older, we don’t want to think about the inevitable. But the truth is that effective planning for the future now can prevent a lot of heartache in the long run. Effective planning and representation also depends upon finding the best legal professionals to meet your needs. We have the knowledge and compassion needed to help you with many aspects of estate law.
One of the most fundamental aspects of estate planning and law is the creation of a will. This is because a will is the legal instrument that dictates how your assets are allocated when you die. In other words, this is the document used to determine who gets what.
To create a valid will, you must be at least 18 (with certain exceptions), you must be fully cognizant of what you are doing, and it cannot be done if you are under any type of duress. It must contain provisions for the distribution of your assets, it must be hand-written or typed, you must sign it, and it must be witnessed.
Although this sounds fairly simple, the fact is that there are different types of will and many circumstances in which an original will can and should be amended. Therefore, it is always best to consult a lawyer about drafting this type of document. Our legal team is available to help with all aspects of this process, including the creation of wills with testamentary trusts, or provisions that give someone you’ve designated as a trustee the power to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries.
By creating an enduring power of attorney, you are essentially creating a legal document that gives someone else the ability to make financial and/or personal decisions for you when you are no longer capable of doing so. Because this is such an important step it is important to get legal advice before you proceed. Our lawyers will ensure that you are fully informed about:
- The requirements for making an enduring power of attorney
- Filling out and submitting the necessary paperwork
- Assisting you in the careful designation of your enduring power of attorney/s
- Responsibilities stemming from enduring power of attorney
- Termination and revocation of enduring power of attorney
We can also help you create an advance health directive or “living will.” This is an official way to make your wishes about medical treatment and related matters known in the event that an accident, injury or illness makes it impossible for you to do so yourself. Consult us to learn what to include, who can make one, how to make one, how to change or revoke one, and more.
As you’re thinking about and planning for the future, you may wonder what happens to your superannuation money after you die. We’ll address specific questions about when it can and can’t be included in your will; who can receive the money; how to designate beneficiaries; tax ramifications; and the pros and cons of various options for distribution.
In addition to addressing specific concerns, our legal team can provide general advice about numerous issues related to estate preparation, protection and risk management. Depending on your circumstances, this may include the identification and evaluation of estate assets and non-estate assets, joint-tenancy arrangements, family trusts, other investments and life insurance policies.
Put in the simplest terms, estate administration is the process of ensuring that the deceased’s final wishes are carried out. In most cases this responsibility is assigned to the executor(s) and/or trustee(s). Because there are often complex emotions and family dynamics involved, this task can be overwhelming – but that’s where we can help. Specifically, we can provide assistance with the following:
- Grant of probate or letters of administration
- The lack of a will or problems with the will
- Trusts connected to the will
- Advising beneficiaries about their rights under the will
- Distribution of assets
Every year, Queensland courts hear countless cases involving estate law. Some, such as family maintenance applications, are routine. Others involving legal technicalities or disputes are more complex. Our lawyers can provide advice and representation for:
- Family maintenance applications
- Will disputes
- Disputes involving trusts and companies
- Superannuation and insurance disputes
- Disagreements over enduring power of attorney
- Evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of your case
- Dispute resolution