Making a Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian – Wills and Estates Lawyers
When making a will, you should give thought to who to appoint as your Executors and Trustees, who to appoint as guardians of your infant children, what assets you can dispose of by your will and what assets you cannot (such as those owned jointly owned or owned by a Family or Discretionary Trust), what liabilities you need to provide for by your will, who you wish to benefit from your will and how the interest of competing parties can be satisfied, whether your wishes can be challenged, your funeral arrangements, the powers and directions you should give to your Executors and Trustees, where to keep your will and who should know where it is kept, the benefits of having an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Enduring Guardianship.
Probate/Letters of Administration – Wills and Estates Lawyers
McNamara & Associates Wills and Estates lawyers can help you apply to the Supreme Court of NSW for Probate in instances where there is a valid will and you have been nominated as Executor of that will. The Supreme Court can then grant probate which authorises you to distribute the deceased estate in accordance with the provisions of the will.
In the some-what complicated event that a valid will has not been left, McNamara & Associates can assist you with applying for Letters of Administration to the Supreme Court of NSW. In these circumstances, there is legislation that details how an estate may be distributed and by whom. The Supreme Court can appoint an Administrator to distribute the estate.
Disputing a Will – Wills and Estates Lawyers
Being left out of a Will or being the executor of or a beneficiary under a Will which is being challenged can be a very stressful experience. Spouses, former spouses, de facto spouses, children and dependents, can be entitled to share in a deceased person’s estate even if they are not provided for in the Will. Our Wills and Estates lawyers can advise you whether you have any such entitlement or, if you are the executor of a Will, whether you should defend such a claim and how you should deal with it.
If you expected to be a beneficiary of a will but have not been provided for, you can make a claim against the distribution of any estate under the Family Provision Act 1982, provided you can clearly set out reasons as to why you should be considered a beneficiary of the deceased estate.
Importantly however, there are very strict time limits that must be complied with. You should seek advice as early as possible as delays can lead to problems. Guidance at the very beginning is essential. Acting quickly after receiving expert advice can save you much heartache, expense and see a resolution to the problem without lengthy delays.
Estate Planning – Wills and Estates Lawyers
Estate planning is more than simply preparing a will. Estate planning should take into account:
- An assessment of the overall assets
- Possible reorganisation of your affairs
- Restructuring to take into account capital gains and other tax considerations
- Consideration regarding possible claims against the estate
- The protection of assests against creditors or other risk relating to beneficiaries
Updating your Estate Plan – Wills and Estates Lawyers
Estate planning is a continuous process and must be reassessed whenever any major event occurs. Major events include:
- Marriage or divorce
- The purchase of a new major asset such as a property or other investment
- Starting up or the closing of a business
- The commencement or acquisition of a Superannuation or Life Policy
- Children marrying undesirable spouses
- Marriage of children appears troubled
- Where a beneficiary’s insolvency is imminent
- Where Tax laws change
- If a discretionary trust is established
Testamentary Trust – Wills and Estates Lawyers
Testamentary Trusts is an effective state planning tool with the key advantages of:
- Protection of pension entitlements for surviving spouses and Beneficiaries
- Income tax advantages to Beneficiaries of a will
- Capital Gains tax advantages to Beneficiaries of a will
- Protection of Beneficiaries against creditors and bankruptcy
- Control of assets against spendthrift Beneficiaries