Wills and Estates
Why you need a Will
Creating a Will is important for all adults. Not only does it protect your wishes, but it also protects your loved ones from financial strain and undue stress during an emotional and difficult time. Having a Will is particularly important if you have a blended family, complex business interests, or a large estate that could make dividing your assets complicated.
In the event of your passing, your Will does two main things. First, it nominates one or more people to be your executor, and second, it gives direction as to how your assets should be handled. Our Will and Estate lawyers in Gippsland can help you draft a Will to provide for your family going forward.
Why you need an executor
An executor, sometimes called a trustee, is the person who puts your Will into action. They will locate and keep in touch with each of the beneficiaries, decide whether a property should be sold or kept, and, if any of the beneficiaries are minors, they will continue to look after your assets until the children are old enough to receive the distribution outright. Depending on the age of the children, this could be many years if not decades.
An executor has a duty to act in the best interest of all beneficiaries, and they can be a beneficiary themselves as well. Our Will and Estate lawyers will ensure that your executor has the information and help they need to carry out your wishes as you intend.
In the event of your death, your Will determines:
How to pay all debts including funeral expenses
Who is to receive any specific gifts
Who is to receive the ‘residuary’ (which is everything left over after debts are paid and specific gifts are given)
Your intentions in any ‘what if’ situations.
Will and Estate Lawyers in Gippsland
Our Will and Estate lawyers will take a common-sense approach when drafting your Will. You can update your Will as many times as you wish, so long as you still have the capacity to do so. Having said that, we suggest that it includes a few backup plans to cover the ‘what if’ scenarios. This way your Will should last you for many years without the need to update it.
As well as drafting your will, our Gippsland Will and Estate lawyers can advise you if it is appropriate for you to divest or transfer some of your assets in preparation for your death. From an estate planning perspective, this can reduce the chances of your Will being contested and lessen the burden on your executor.
We take a holistic approach to your situation, and we may well suggest that you consider transferring your properties ahead of time so long as it remains cost-effective. We do this by working in conjunction with your accountant to ensure any adverse stamp duty or capital gains tax issues, etc, are kept to a minimum.
When you come to see us about making a Will, we often raise two other documents with you as well; an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Appointment of a Medical Treatment Decision Maker. You may decide that one or both of those documents will be beneficial for you. Read more about these documents here.