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Writing A Will And General Estate Planning
A Will is a legal document where you record who you wish for your estate to be distributed to, who looks after your minor children, and who administers your estate when you pass away. A Will is an important estate planning tool and should be prepared by expert will and estate planning lawyers to make sure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. By appointing sharp legal minds for such an important task, you can minimise the chances of a successful challenge to your will after your passing.
Wills include information such as:
- Who will be appointed as the executor of your estate to help manage it, and ensure your wishes are carried out;
- Who you want to distribute your assets to (known as beneficiaries);
- Who you want to receive any specific gifts such as a family heirloom or specific item of sentimental value;
- How you would like your funeral to be arranged and whether you have any specific cultural or religious arrangements;
- Who you want to be the guardian of your children aged under 18 years.
Why hire a Solicitor for your Will?
The preparation of a Will can easily be put off. Some people are daunted by what they see as a complex legal document. However, with the help of our expert wills and estate lawyers, the process will be simple and stress free.
We have the necessary skills and knowledge to make sure that your wishes are reflected in the Will. We will advise you on specific options for your Will based on your personal circumstance and wishes.
Our wills and estate lawyers are well-equipped to handle all types of Wills, from simple to complicated asset structures. These include residential, investment or commercial real estate, cash, a moderate to large stock portfolio, business entities such as trusts, corporations and partnerships, motor cars, household furnishings, and personal items. Different types of assets are treated differently in a Will depending on the way in which the asset is owned and how it’s intended to be distributed.
Our expertise goes well beyond just preparing a Will. We consider the specific types of assets you hold and your personal circumstances to ensure that we offer a comprehensive estate plan which may also include associated documents prepared by a such as a lawyer for power of attorney or enduring guardianship. We can provide advice on:
- Simple wills through to very complex wills that incorporate testamentary trusts;
- Asset protection strategies;
- Business succession planning;
- Superannuation, including self-managed superannuation funds; and
- Family trusts
Although you can purchase your own Will Kit from a post office, newsagent, or the internet, these should be used with caution. Such kits can be inappropriate for your specific circumstances and may be more easily challenged in Court. It’s crucial to double-check everything you download complies with legal Will requirements in your locality.
Wills should be regularly updated
A Will should be updated if you experience important life events such as:
Storing your Will
In NSW, there is no public wills register. However, The solicitors for wills at Lawpoint can keep your Will and any associated documents such as a power of attorney in our safe custody. This is a service that we offer at no cost to our clients after preparing their Will.
When stored in our safe custody, your Will and other important documents are available for you on short notice. Your executor or power of attorney may also request the documents under certain circumstances, when required.
Can a Will be contested?
It is important to remember that no Will is safe from challenges by a person who believes they have been unfairly treated in a Will. If a beneficiary receives less than others, or in some case, if a person is left out of a Will entirely, due to the Succession Act 2006, if they are an “eligible person”, contesting a will will be an option for them. An eligible person includes a spouse or child of a deceased person.
However, with the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer, you can ensure that your Will is drafted in such a way that it gives the document the best chance of surviving a contested claim in court. There are some safeguards that our experienced team of wills lawyers can help you enforce to try and guard against such a claim.
In addition to contesting a Will, a Will can also be challenged on the basis that the Will is an invalid document. Grounds for challenge include:
- Undue influence;
- Lack of capacity; and
Our team of wills and estate lawyers are experienced in such claims and can therefore ensure that precautions are taken at the time of preparing your Will to minimise the chances of a successful challenge to your will.
In the vast majority of cases, we offer fixed pricing for wills and associated estate planning documents such as power of attorney or enduring guardianship documents. Costs are disclosed upfront so that you have the peace of mind of knowing what costs you will incur.
Why choose Lawpoint?
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