Wills and Estates
The preparation of your Will should not be approached as a ’one size fits all' process.
Your Will should be carefully prepared by someone who understands the law, your personal circumstances and what is important to you.
Creating a Will
To ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes and to the people and causes that you care about, it is essential to prepare a Will. A Will is a legal document that sets out how your property and assets are to be divided after you pass away. It is one critical part of the important Estate Planning process.
We can help you with:
Probate & estate administration
Enduring Power of Attorney
Medical Treatment Decision Maker
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I make a Will?
If you make a legal Will you can:
Appoint who you wish to administer your estate
Appoint a Power of Attorney
Indicate your preference as to a guardian for your children
Minimise the likelihood of people being able to contest your Will
What happens if I don't have a Will?
If you choose to not make a legal Will, after your passing, your estate will be distributed using a fixed formula determined by the Government. As you will not have an executor, the court will appoint an administrator. It can take months for this process to be completed and there is no guarantee that your dependents will receive what you may have intended.
A well drafted Will provides an effective defence against claims and ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
How often should I review my Will?
Your Will should reflect your current circumstances and intentions. In recent years there have been significant and continuous changes to the taxation, superannuation and social security laws impacting upon wills and deceased estates.
These changes emphasise the importance of regularly reviewing your Will to ensure it continues to comply with your wishes.
If you would like to arrange an appointment with us to discuss your options and to see whether this is something you would like to organise, your initial consultation is free – just contact us here.
When leaving a Will, you must decide:
Who will receive your assets
How and when your assets will be distributed
Your nominated executor will look after your estate. The executor must:
Pay all your debts
Distribute your estate in accordance with your Will
What is a Power of Attorney and why do I need one?
When preparing a Will, we encourage clients to also consider powers of attorney. While your Will operates in the event of your death, the power of attorney gives another person the legal right to act on your behalf while you are alive.
While you may not feel powers of attorney to be necessary at your stage in life, having an attorney in place can give you peace of mind that, if something unexpected happens, you have a trusted individual to act on your behalf and in your personal interests.
Northcote Lawyers is able to prepare a power of attorney for you, advise how the power operates and ensure you take into consideration the matters that are relevant and important.