What is Estate Planning?
Lawyers talk about 3 key documents for you to consider when reviewing your estate planning needs. Estate planning involves you preparing the documents necessary to deal with your affairs for the day when you can’t.
This could be because you are travelling, seriously sick or injured, and finally once a person has passed away.
What is a will and what does it do?
A will is a legal document that allows you to specify a number of things including:
- who is going to be in charge of your estate (your executor)
- what happens with your affairs, your assets, your pets (your legacies or gifts)
- who will care for your children (guardianship appointments)
- what will happen with your remains (directions)
It is critical that your will has been validly prepared, and deals with the entirety of your estate. If you want your will to be enforceable, and not open to challenge, then it is important to get professional legal advice, specific to your circumstances before finalising your will.
Part of your legal advice and enquiry will involve ensuring that your will has dealt with any potential claims, and has adequately managed those complex issues that may arise.
Whilst many legal areas are softening their “legal requirements”, a will continues to have very specific rules around the way in which they are signed and who can witness a will.
Let Integrated Family Law show you how you can focus on what matters to you … your assets, your family, your wishes … and leave the legalities to us!
What doesn’t a will do?
A will has no effect until the maker has passed away. There is no guidance or legal effect if you were to become seriously, or even critically ill.
What if I don’t make a will?
Your affairs will then be dealt with by the rules of intestacy. These rules are set out in the Succession Act and clearly, do not take into account your own personal circumstances.
If your family or loved ones are not adequately provided for, they will need to resort to costly and time-consuming Supreme Court applications and let a judge decide what should happen in your estate.
I’m getting on a bit, can I still do a new will?
We’re happy to meet with our older clients to discuss their estate planning needs. We love a good chat!
We take our obligations to get your will right, very seriously. For older people, our involvement will often include having our lawyer and your doctor conferring to double check that you have the capacity to prepare those instructions. Again, this is a step that we take to protect our clients from potential manipulation from friends or family members, as well as making sure that your Will is not open to challenge later.