Wills and Estate

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Estate law FAQs

Wills and estates law is the area of law that deals with the drafting and execution of wills, as well as the administration of estates. This area of law can be quite complex, and it is important to seek professional legal advice if you are considering making a will or administering an estate. Some of the key issues that wills and estates lawyers deal with include: drafting wills, advising on estate planning, administering estates, and dealing with disputes over wills and estate administration. If you need assistance in any of these areas, please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 8014 5818.

A testamentary trust is a type of trust that is created by a copmprehensive will.  Testamentary trusts have many advantages; asset protection and tax management are important examples. In terms of assets protection, a beneficiary can particularly benefit if they are going through divorce, de facto break up, business failure or bankruptcy.  Taxes such as income tax or capital gains tax can be effectively managed by a Testamentary Trust. They are also very useful  if there are minor or disabled beneficiaries. Subsequently, Testamentary Trusts are very popular estate planning tools.

Probate is the legal process of settling an estate after a person dies.Probate is the name of a court order that is granted by the Supreme Court of NSW. Being granted probate confirms that:

  • the will is valid
  • the executor has permission to distribute the estate according to the will

You might not need to go through probate if the person died without owning property and only had small amounts of money to their name.

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Once a will is signed, it must be kept in a safe place. Otherwise, there is a risk that it could be damaged or stolen. Many people choose to store their wills in a fireproof safe at home. Others keep them in a safety deposit box at a bank. Still others entrust them to their lawyer. Wherever you decide to store your will, be sure to let your executor know its location so that it can be found when needed. Please note that we offer free safe keeping services. 

Wills, testamentary trusts, (enduring) powers of attorney, (enduring) guardinship and health care directives are some of the typical estate planning documents. While the specific documents you need will vary depending on your individual circumstances, these are some of the most common estate planning documents.

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Disclaimer

Nothing in this page constitute legal advice and should not be relied as such. Contact us at 02 8014 5818 for legal advice. This page is written with NSW laws in mind. Laws in your state or country might differ.