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Estate Planning Lawyers

Estate Planning Lawyers

Depending on your assets and financial structure estate planning can be a crucial element for individuals and business owners.

If you have a more complex financial structure involving trusts or business interests, you may require estate planning advice. Only with estate planning advice can your business structures be organised to be distributed effectively after you pass away.

Effective estate planning will look at ways to transition the management of your assets, minimise the risk of estate disputes and employ tax effective methods.

Not all lawyers have experience in estate planning beyond preparing a typical Will. Our estate planning lawyers are experienced in protecting client’s estates from being disputed or contested.

Estate planning is suitable for anyone who owns or otherwise has an interest in:

  • Trusts
  • Complex & Overseas Asset structures
  • Business Partnerships
  • Business Owners, either as a sole trader or via a company
  • Company Shareholders
  • Complex family dynamics

There are multiple solutions to dealing with any of these complicated factors and our estate lawyers will tailor your estate plan to meet your specific needs.

Trusts

It is common that individuals will have the majority of their assets tied up in Trusts, such as a Family Trust. Estate planning is essential for anyone who has an interest in a trust, either as an appointor, trustee or beneficiary. Having a Will that deals with your trust is the only way to ensure that the roles of the trust are transitioned to the right people after your death.

If your Will does not deal with your Trusts, it can leave your family members in a difficult situation trying to transition the trust officeholders after your death. Improperly dealt with Trusts in a Will can lead to a costly dispute down the road.

It may be impossible after your death to rectify an issue with a Trust if your Will and estate planning is inadequate.

Complex & Overseas Asset structures

If you have complicated asset structure you may need to consider what the consequences if you pass away. Proper planning will uncover any potential issues and deal with ways to retain your rights or assets after your death. This can include assets such as intellectual property, charities and other rights and entitlements.

Not all Wills deal with assets held overseas. If you have assets outside of Australia proper consideration needs to be given if your Australian Will can deal with them.

Business Partnerships

Any Business partners should consider what will happen if they pass away. Quite often disputes arise between the surviving owner and the family. If you are in a business partnership your family members can be taken advantage of by your existing business partner.

This does happen and these disputes are complicated by grief and uncertainty. Business succession planning ensures there is clarity and your family’s or beneficiaries’ rights are reserved.

Establishing a Testamentary Trust

There are three main reasons why someone would consider establishing a testamentary trust in their Wills:

  1. To achieve a more tax effective outcome for the distribution of their assets on their death;
  2. To protect assets from third parties. For example, protecting an asset from the spouse of a child in family law separation(s); and/or
  3. When someone has a beneficiary with a disability who would be unable to manage their inheritance themselves. In these circumstances a trustee would be established to use the inheritance in the best interests of the beneficiary.

If any of the above apply to you, contact our estate lawyers who can advise you to the benefits of establishing a Testamentary Trust in your Will.

Business Owners

Business owners should have a considered estate plan in place including business succession planning. This will help prevent internal and external issues arising and impacting the functioning of your business after your death.

Depending on your family’s involvement in your business the transition of business after your death can be complicated if not forethought. Where family members are involved in the business, special consideration may be required for family members not in the business.

The business is a major asset and the division of it can be complicated if an estate planning is not in place.

Having a watertight Will in place to deal with your business assets will ensure a smoother process after your death.

Complex family dynamics

Families come in many different forms and have different considerations. Issues such as special needs, dependency or substantial gifts given prior to your death need to be dealt with carefully.

De facto relationships and blended families may wish to discuss their estate in more detail and have a comprehensive plan to deal with their estate.

Estate planning is crucial to ensuring your loved ones are cared for as you wish, or receive the full benefit, after your death.

Putting the right mechanisms in place early will avoid disputes and issues arising between loved ones after your death.

How our estate planning lawyers can help…

Our estate planning lawyers can review your existing Will and provide clear advice on any issues. It may be that you need your current Will updated as life events or time has made your Will ineffective.

If you don’t have anything in place it is wise to act urgently. If someone dies with a Will the laws of intestacy apply to their estate and the Parliament determines how your estate is distributed, your family members and loved ones have no say.

Many life events can make your Will invalid it is important to understand what they are and how they impact you.

If a dependent or family member wants to contest a Will it can be relatively easy process that your estate usually pays for. These issues can be uncovered and dealt with by engaging an expert Wills and Estate lawyer. Wills disputes are costly and can deepen existing or create new family divisions.

Don’t delay on getting estate planning advice, speak to one of our lawyers today on 1300 907 335.

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Our Locations

Melbourne CBD

Level 15,
440 Collins Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000

Sydney

Level 33,
264 George Street,
Sydney NSW 2000

Chadstone

Level 8,
1341 Dandenong Rd,
Chadstone VIC 3148

Dandenong

Level 2,
311 Lonsdale St
Dandenong VIC 3175

Frankston

Ground Flr,
435 Nepean Hwy
Frankston VIC 3199

Moorabbin

Level 1,
441 South Road
Moorabbin VIC 3189

Preston

Ground Flr,
84 Hotham St,
Preston VIC 3072

Sunshine

Level 5,
12 Clarke Street
Sunshine VIC 3020