Wills & Estate Planning
Estate planning involves deciding how assets and investments are to be distributed, with various strategies employed depending on what best suits you, our client. Estate planning is completed to provide you with peace of mind, ensuring that your assets are passed on to your beneficiaries in the simplest and most effective way.
Preparing A Will
Estate planning is the process of deciding and recording the distribution of wealth after death in a Will. Wills are a key factor in preparing an estate, as they provide explicit instruction on how your wealth is to be distributed amongst nominated recipients.
Unfortunately, while it seems like a straightforward process, it’s often not so easy in practice as there are many aspects to be considered when writing a will and planning your estate.
- Superannuation death nominations (who receives your super benefits when you die)
- The creation of testamentary trusts to distribute assets to your beneficiaries
- Powers of attorney (appointing someone else to conduct your affairs if you are unable to do so)
- Power of guardianship (giving someone else the power to make personal and lifestyle decisions should you lose your mental capacity)
- Anticipatory direction or advance health directive (instructions on your wishes regarding medical treatment if you’re unable to communicate your wishes)
Thankfully, the process of getting started estate planning is easily broken down into a few steps. Solicitors are essential throughout the process as it varies heavily depending on your needs and must be tailored to suit you. Ensuring your estate has a comprehensive plan that covers all necessary issues.
Estate Planning Steps
The first step in estate planning is taking stock of your assets. This involves creating a list of all personal assets, including those that form part of your estate such as superannuation, life insurance, and trusts.
The second step is to identify any potential risks which could occur before death, such as declining mental incapacity, divorce, total incapacity and to plan for these occurrences.
Writing A Will
Writing a Will is a critical stage in planning an estate. The document must be written clearly and unambiguously to ensure that your instructions are followed when the time comes. A correctly written Will can help to ensure that all assets go to the correct recipients, provide clear instructions on who will care for any children, donate money to charity and give directions on funeral preferences and wishes.
Consequences Of Not Having A Will
Dying intestate occurs if somebody dies without a Will or with an invalid Will. The laws regarding this occurrence vary from state to state and determine how the assets are distributed. While they are generally given to family, it is rare that such distribution aligns with the wishes of the deceased. Because of this, it is considered essential that such matters are decided before death in the form of a Will.
When creating a Will, it is necessary for you to nominate an executor. Their role is to carry out the wishes recorded in the Will, as well as manage the estate. Depending on the circumstances, there can be others involved, such as having a trustee nominated to manage a trust.
Estate Planning Benefits
There are a great number of benefits to estate planning. A significant benefit is the peace of mind in knowing that assets are going to the right people. These are often loved ones and making sure that they are financially supported is a huge factor for our clients when planning estates. In addition to this, having a clearly written Will is paramount in ensuring that there is little to no conflict regarding distribution of assets among loved ones.
Planning your estate is far more than just a financial matter. It allows you to put your future medical care in your own hands, as well as ensuring that your children are in safe hands in the case of an untimely or unexpected death. While the idea of planning for death may seem morbid, the process is essential for anybody who wishes to save their loved ones a great deal stress in the future.
Why Choose Michael O’Brien Lawyers For Your Estate Planning?
At Michael O’Brien lawyers, we will work with you to ensure that creating a Will and planning your estate is a simple and effective process. We work with clients throughout the Redlands, Brisbane and South East Queensland.