Wills & Estates
Succession planning services including Wills, Enduring
Succession planning protects you, your assets and your family in the event of your death or incapacity. There are significant costs in failing to properly address your succession planning. Succession planning minimises the risks of a challenge or dispute to your estate, which ensures your beneficiaries aren’t faced with unnecessary legal fees during an already difficult time. We provide expert advice on:
- Preparing a Will
- Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Administration of a deceased estate
- Caring for vulnerable beneficiaries with a special disability trust
- Succession planning for complex investment structures
- Superannuation death benefit nominations
- Family provision applications
- Guardianship issues
Succession planning is a highly specialised area of law, and Pacific Law’s team of succession planning experts hold decades of experience in helping our clients ensure their assets pass to the control and benefit of the right people.
Preparing a Will
Having a Will prepared by an expert estate lawyer helps to ensure your wishes are properly carried out. Your Will should include comprehensive directions relating to your affairs, including:
- Who will receive your assets when you die
- Who controls your estate
- Who looks after your children
- Whether you will be buried or cremated
- Who takes control of your companies and trusts
- Who receives your superannuation
Your Will may also need to be supported by other documents, such as a death benefit nomination for your superannuation. Pacific Law’s team of estate planning experts can provide comprehensive advice on how to ensure your wishes are met.
Reviewing Your Will
An out-of-date Will leaves you and your family susceptible to risk. Best practice is to review your Will every three to four years, or whenever your circumstances change. Your Will should be updated every time you experience a significant life event, such as:
- A birth or death
- Marriage or divorce
- Buying or selling a significant asset
- Establishing or closing down an asset protection structure
Pacific Law’s team of estate planning experts are experienced in providing advice on how best to keep your Will up to date throughout all of life’s changes.
Testamentary Discretionary Trust Wills
Testamentary Discretionary Trusts allow you to make a gift under your Will, offering significant asset protection and tax minimisation advantages for your beneficiaries.
If you have substantial assets and want to ensure they are protected in the hands of your beneficiaries, a Testamentary Discretionary Trust will help to:
- Preserve assets for your bloodline descendants
- Protect assets from your beneficiaries’ creditors
- Minimise tax on the income earned from the assets you leave to your beneficiaries
Pacific Law’s qualified team of estate planning experts can help you to understand whether a Testamentary Discretionary Trust Will is appropriate for your circumstances.
Enduring Powers of Attorney
Everyone should have an Enduring Power of Attorney. The attorney you appoint under an Enduring Power of Attorney will make important financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event that you lose your decision-making capacity. The fact that your attorney can control your finances, and make decisions about where you live and what medical attention you receive makes it an incredibly important role.
It is too late to appoint an attorney once you have lost your capacity for decision making, which further highlights the importance of implementing an Enduring Power of Attorney in advance.
To ensure your attorney is someone you trust our team can help you put together an Enduring Power of Attorney, confirming you understand your attorney’s role, and that your chosen attorney has the right powers to manage your affairs.
If a loved one cannot make decisions for themselves, they will require someone to assist them in this capacity. While matters do become more complicated in the absence of a properly appointed attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney, it may be possible to apply for an appointment as a guardian. If this is the case, Pacific Law’s team of estate lawyers can assist you in this application process.
Administration of Deceased Estates
Taking on the role of executor of a deceased estate involves a great deal of responsibility during what is often a very challenging time.
Our team can assist in the administration of a deceased estate, by:
- Helping you to understand your role and responsibilities
- Reading the Will to ensure you understand its terms
- Collecting assets of the estate to ensure they are properly protected
- Providing advice on asset management
- Providing advice on the distribution of assets
- Addressing any complex issues which arise
If you are the executor of a deceased estate, Pacific Law’s team of experienced estates lawyers can help you manage your role and responsibilities effectively.
“I have had extensive involvement with Pacific Law over the last 3 years dealing with a complex Estate windup. Their attention to detail, professionalism and proactiveness in assisting me with my role as Executor has been exceptional….
Highly recommend Pacific Law as a competent, value for money legal service provider.”
— Stephen Goode, Mayers Fine Foods