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Estate Planning

If you don’t know what to do, or whether to do anything at all, ask yourself what you wish you had done, if the worst happened tomorrow.

Death is not something we like to think about.

But it is an unavoidable part of life, and unfortunately, we don’t all know when it may come. It may be tomorrow, a couple of years from now, or (hopefully) decades into the future. No matter when it is, it’s best to be prepared.

This preparation is an estate plan, and everyone over the age of 18 should have one.

AN ESTATE PLAN LOOKS AT

Who makes decisions and how assets are distributed after you have died.
What happens with and planning for assets that are both inside, and outside of your estate.
Who can make decisions (financial and medical) if you’re alive but unable to make decisions for yourself.
Protecting your assets from bankruptcy and family law claims.
Structuring your estate so it provides appropriate protections and tax advantages.

Every persons estate plan will differ, and depend on their own circumstances, but some common documents that may form part of yours include:

  • Wills
  • Testamentary trusts (including protective trusts)
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney (ACT and NSW)
  • Appointment of Enduring Guardianship (NSW)
  • Health Directions (ACT) and Advanced Care Directives (NSW)
  • Death Benefit Nominations (Binding and Non-Binding) for superfunds and life insurance
  • Succession deeds for already existing trusts
  • Letters of Wishes
  • Private loan agreements
  • Prenups (Binding Financial Agreements)

ESTATE PLANNING STEPS

1.
Get in touch.

Book a phone call or appointment with us, to discuss your circumstances and wishes. After this call/appointment, we will provide some recommendations about your estate plan and confirmation of our costs to prepare your plan. This call/appointment is free!

2.
Complete an interview.

You’ll be asked to confirm your details, and your wishes that we discussed in your call/appointment, and then some. Once complete instructions are received, we will prepare your documents and provide advice within 2-4 weeks.

3.
Review your plan.

You will need to review the documents we have prepared and our advice, to make sure they align with your wishes. If any amendments need to be made before you’re ready to sign your documents, they can then be made.

4.
Sign your documents.

You will receive finalised versions of your documents, ready for signing. Our fees for preparing your estate plan include us meeting with you to sign the documents at our office (we’re also able to do house calls, for an additional fee of $440 including GST).

ESTATE PLANNING FAQs

Your estate is everything you have in your name. This may include real estate, bank accounts, cars, debts, shares, cryptocurrency, pets, etc. Everything in your estate can be distributed under your will.

Property owned jointly with other people (including real estate and bank accounts), may not be part of your estate, unless they are owned in a specific way. Superannuation, life insurance are not automatically part of your estate, but they can be. And assets owned by private companies and trusts are also not part of your estate.

As part of your estate plan, we will determine what’s “in” and “out” of your estate, and plan to ensure that what’s “out” still passes in accordance with your wishes.

If you die without an estate plan, your estate will be distributed under the laws of intestacy (which differ in each State and Territory), and also differ depending on your circumstances. Superannuation will pass in accordance with superannuation law. Which may reflect what you want to happen.

The costs, both monetary and emotional, can be great on your family if you die without a will, as they will have to go to Court to sort this out.

Yes, they can. But this should be documented in your will and Power of Attorney documents. The law does not automatically grant your family members the ability to make decisions for you, and without the appropriate documents, they would have to go to a Court or tribunal to be given the power to do so.

Superannuation law provides a very short list of people eligible to receive your superannuation after your death. And then the list is even shorter for those who can receive it tax free. If you want to leave your super to a specific person or people, it needs to be formally documented, otherwise, the superfund will make that decision for you.

No. Certain people can always challenge your estate, if they do not feel they have been adequately provided for. While this is the case, it is still very important to have a will, especially if you’re considering “cutting someone out”, to show your intentions and to make the process of challenging as difficult as possible for that person.

A letter of wishes is a document that can accompany your will, and provides guidance to your executors and trustees about how you want them to deal with your estate. It is not legally binding, however, can provide a lot more context to your will, and include information about why you have put together your will in a certain way, how you would like people to work together, and particularly for young kids, how you would like them to be raised.

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AWARDS

Finalist - Corporate Kindness Awards

Issued by Corporate Kindness Awards · Winners announced April 2022

Winner - Sole Practitioner of the Year

Issued by Australian Law Awards · Dec 2021

Winner – Partner of the Year (Family Law)

Issued by Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards · Nov 2021

Winner - Service Business Award

Issued by Ausmumpreneur Awards · Sep 2021

Winner - Service Business of the Year

Issued by Roar Awards · Sep 2021

Winner - Innovation Award for Legal Education and Change Initiatives

Issued by APAC Insider · Aug 2021

Winner - Top Boutique Law Firm 2021

Issued by Australasian Lawyers · Aug 2021

Winner- Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Issued by APAC Insider · Aug 2021

Finalist - Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Issued by Australian Law Awards · Jun 2021

Finalist - Innovator of the Year Award (Company)

Issued by Australian Law Awards · Jun 2021

Finalist - Innovator of the Year Award (Individual)

Issued by Australian Law Awards · Jun 2021

Finalist – 30 Under 30 Award (Family Law)

Issued by Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 Awards · Apr 2021

Winner - Rising Stars in Family Law

Issued by Global Corp Media · Mar 2021

Finalist -Rising Star Ausmumpreneur of the Year

Issued by Ausmumpreneur Awards · 2021

Finalist -Social Change Hero

Issued by Roar Awards · 2021

Winner - Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Issued by Australian Law Awards · Sep 2020

Winner - Family Law Firm of the Year

Issued by Corporate Live Wire · Sep 2020

Winner - Service Business Award

Issued by Ausmumpreneurs · Sep 2020

Winner -Emerging Mumpreneur

Issued by Ausmumpreneur · Sep 2020

Finalist - Sole Practitioner of the Year

Issued by Australian Law Awards · Aug 2020

Winner - Rising Stars of Family Law

Issued by APEC Insider · Jul 2020

Winner – Family Law Firm of the Year (Australia)

Issued by International Advisory Experts (IAG) 2020

I love to travel and have already made it to 18 countries across Europe and Asia. My personal goal is to travel to every continent, including Antarctica. My favourite destination so far is Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland, where I skydived over the Swiss Alps!

Outside of the law and travel, I am a qualified lifeguard and swimming instructor, and have taught kids from as young as six months to adults.

I am a passionate environmentalist and animal lover. I advocate for kinder lawyering and living through my volunteer work at local sanctuaries and community organisations. I am an unashamed dance mum extraordinaire to my two lively daughters and wife to my ever so supportive and husband. I adore cats, and have 3 – Ruby, Cleo and Kimba, who are very popular on Instagram! You can check them out here.