Wills & Estate Planning

Estate planning requires far more skill than a few years ago, when all you needed was a will prepared by your local solicitor.

  • Assets not covered by your will

Your estate may include assets which are not in your name, and will not come under your will, for example, superannuation, trusts or business interests.

  • Tax minimisation

Minimising the amount of tax your estate and beneficiaries may pay depends on effective estate planning. Superannuation passing to your beneficiaries may or may not be taxed, depending on how your estate is structured. Capital gains tax may also depend on the wording of your will.

  • Asset protection

Simply leaving your estate your spouse or children exposes your hard earned assets to being lost if your beneficiaries end up in the Family Court or become bankrupt.  A  arefullyprepared will can protect against these losses.

  • Family Provision claims

The law allows your will to be challenged, if it does not make provision for certain members of your family. This even includes ex-spouses and the de factos. Effective estate planning minimises these risks. Please click here for information on Family Provision claims.

  • Enduring Powers of Attorney and Guardianship

You should also cover what should happen to your estate, and who should be able to make personal decisions on your behalf if you lose your mental capacity.

Like so many things in life, you get what you pay for. All too often, people thought they were saving money by using a "will kit", only to cost their estate tens of thousands of dollars when drafting errors cause the will to end up in Court.

Even with simple wills, it is important to ensure that the will reflects your wishes, and that all possibilities have been covered. Somerville Legal's solicitors ensure that your will is thorough and protected from attack.

Sometimes it is best to leave your assets to trusts controlled by your remaining family members, rather than to leave assets to them directly. These trusts are known as "testamentary trusts". Testamentary trusts allow the beneficiaries to exercise control over a trust, without receiving assets directly into their own name. So long as the assets remain in testamentary trusts, they are protected from claims by the beneficiary's creditors or spouse. Testamentary trusts also have tax advantages.

Our solicitors can give practical, accurate, easy to understand advice, to guide you to an effective will, giving maximum benefits and protection to your loved ones.

Probate

Please Click here for information on deceased estates and probate.

Contact

Our wills & estate planning team is headed up by Stephen Lynch, an Accredited Specialist in the field of Wills & Estates, and a member of the internationally recognised Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners. Alyssa Primiano is a specialist in drafting wills and handling deceased estates.

Tim Somerville also advises on tax related issues relating to estate planning and is a regular speaker at legal seminars on estate planning, including the LexisNexis series.

 

 

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