It's not something you like to think about but Estate Planning is very important. It's making sure your wishes are known and carried out when you die.
It lets your loved ones know who you'd like to handle your affairs and who will receive your estate (inheritance). If you die without a valid Will, default rules apply which may not reflect your wishes and it can make things difficult for your loved ones during their time of grief.
We can tailor a Will to suit your needs and wishes. We take the time to understand the needs of your family, how your assets or business are owned and what medical treatment you or your family may require, and work with you to ensure that the administration of your estate will be as smooth as possible for your executors.
You can also authorise people to assist you or to act on your behalf before you die, if you're unable to do so (due to brain injury, coma etc). An Enduring Power of Attorney authorises someone to make decisions on your behalf about your health, personal care and financial matters. An Advanced Health Directive specifies what type of treatment and medical care you wish to receive while you're alive.
After you have died, your Estate will be administered by the people you have authorised in your Will or, if there is no valid Will, by a person appointed by the Court.
If you have been named as the Executor of a Will, you will need to determine whether an Application for Probate will be necessary. This is the formal recognition by the Court that you are entitled to act as the Executor. If no Will exists, or it cannot be located, you may be eligible to apply to the court for permission to administer the Estate on behalf of the person who has died. This is known as an application for Letters of Administration.
Regardless of whether a Will exists, if adequate provision is not made for the support of a spouse, child or dependent, that person may apply to the Court for an adjustment to the benefit they receive.
To find out more about these options or for assistance with administering an estate, please contact us.