Wills, Estates & Succession Planning lawyers in Geelong, Torquay & Melbourne
Deliver peace of mind for yourself and for your loved ones.
You need a Will. 45% of Australians do not have a Will or Powers of Attorney. This leaves them and their family vulnerable to unnecessary difficulty and uncertainty in the event of their serious injury or death.
You need an expert. Paper and online Will kits are often viewed as a cheap alternative to a Will drafted by a lawyer. But they are not a genuine alternative. An inexpertly drafted or invalid Will can often be more harmful than no Will at all.
You want value for money. Our online tool will provide our lawyers with all of the information they need to review your circumstances and draft your Will and, if required, your Powers of Attorney. That means your time with us can be spent talking about important issues and making the most of our expertise.
Depending on your situation, a simple Will may be all you need to ensure your loved ones are provided for and your legacy preserved. Using our online tool will help determine whether or not a simple Will is right for you. Factors that may require more complex Estate Planning include self-managed super funds, business interests, trusts and blended families.
Thank you again for everything and we will not hesitate in recommending your services to others.
Key matters we can advise you on include:
You have worked hard to build your assets and to ensure they are protected and have been maximised throughout your lifetime. Securing them for the people you care about is fundamental. Our expert lawyers work with you, your accountants and financial planners to ensure your personal, commercial and business objectives are integrated into a comprehensive succession plan. The centrepiece of this plan is your Will. Find out more
Enduring Powers of Attorney are documents which appoint loved ones or trusted friends to make financial, personal and/or medical decisions on your behalf whilst you are still alive. There may be circumstances where you are unable to make decisions about matters that concern you, such as being overseas or being ill. Find out more
Unlike a trust created by a Trust Deed executed during your lifetime, a Testamentary (Family Will) Trust is created by your Will, and does not come into effect until death. This form of trust is recommended in estate planning to deliver tax advantages and asset protection for your family, and ensures that no beneficiary is disadvantaged. Find out more
A Special Disability Trust is a type of Trust which can be established by an immediate family member for a loved one who has been diagnosed with a severe disability, to provide for their future care and accommodation needs. They are useful where an intended beneficiary receives a disability support pension and the amount they are likely to receive from an estate will result in them losing their pension (or their pension being decreased).
In order to establish a Special Disability Trust, a beneficiary must meet the definition of a person with a ‘severe disability’. Generally, if a person has been assessed as having a ‘severe disability’ by Centrelink, they will meet the definition required for a Special Disability Trust. Find out more
Proper estate administration requires a detailed understanding of the terms of the deceased’s Will. As Executors and Trustees there are particular duties which must be complied with and we can ensure you are properly advised throughout. Our team is experienced in dealing with families during their time of loss and are sensitive to estate administration needs when a loved one has passed away. We provide expert, tailored and timely assistance in estate administration, which can be often be a complex process. Find out more
There are two common categories of estate litigation – challenging the validity of the Will, and challenging the provision made in the Will. A Part IV claim, also known as a Testator Family Maintenance claim or Family Provision claim, may be brought against an estate during the estate administration process if an eligible person believes that adequate provision from the estate was not made for them under the terms of the Will or in accordance with the laws of intestacy.
A claim may also arise against the estate of a deceased person if a person named in the Will (or a person named in a previous Will of the deceased) has grounds for challenging the validity of the last Will of the deceased. Find out more
In most circumstances, superannuation and life insurances do not fall within the “estate” of a deceased person and will not be distributed in accordance with the terms of a person’s Will. The best way to ensure certainty with respect to whom your superannuation is paid is to ensure you have a valid Binding Death Benefit Nomination in place, and to ensure this is updated every three years (for retail superannuation funds). Find out more
If one parent passes away, the surviving parent automatically becomes the sole legal Guardian of the biological children of the relationship. However, if both parents pass away, the process of appointing a legal guardian for your children is made much easier if the Will provides guidance. Whilst a difficult decision to make, choosing Guardians is best discussed and decided when working through your estate planning. Find out more
If someone you know does not have Powers of Attorney in place and no longer possesses decision making capacity, an Application will need to be made to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for Administration and/or Guardianship Orders, to enable someone to make decisions on their behalf. An Administration Order appoints a person to make financial and legal decisions on behalf of another. A Guardianship Order appoints a person to make lifestyle and accommodation decisions on behalf of another. Find out more