Wills and estate planning

To ensure that your wishes are put into effect after your death, you need a properly drawn up-to-date will.

Marriage and divorce can affect your will. Blended families give rise to particular concerns.

It is important for many people to plan their estate, that is, develop a strategy that goes beyond drafting a will, to ensure continuation of a family business, or provide for a disabled beneficiary, or protect their assets. On occasions it is necessary to involve your accountant in developing your estate plan.

Susan Parker has extensive experience in drafting wills and can advise you on the issues to consider.

Powers of Attorney and Appointments of Guardians

As part of any estate panning strategy, consideration should be given to Powers of Attorney and Appointments of Guardian.

A Power of Attorney enables you to appoint someone you trust to act on your behalf when you are not in a position to do so, for example, if you are travelling overseas or are physically unable to attend to management of your financial and legal affairs. An Enduring Power of Attorney enables your attorney to continue to act on your behalf if you lose mental capacity.

An Appointment of Guardian enables you to appoint someone to look after your personal and lifestyle decisions in the event that you are unable to make decisions. If, for example, you suffer a stroke which prevents you from communicating, your guardian can decide where you will live, what treatment or services you will receive. It is important to make appointments of Attorneys and Guardians while you are able to do so, to simplify matters for those to whom your care may be entrusted.

Probate and Administration of Estates

If you are the executor or executrix of someone’s will, Susan Parker can advise you on whether it is necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate. Probate is a formal order from the Supreme Court allowing executors to call in and administer an estate according to the will of the deceased. If someone close to you has died without making a will, it may be necessary to obtain Letters of Administration to enable the estate to be distributed. Susan Parker has wide-ranging experience in estate administration including:

  • obtaining probate on presumption of death (where the deceased’s body was never found);
  • appointing a Syndic to administer an estate when the executrix appointed under the will failed to take any steps to administer the estate;
  • managing and administering an estate on behalf of a disabled beneficiary; and
  • obtaining Letters of Administration in the absence of a will, on behalf of a sibling of the deceased.

Family Provision and Succession Act matters

On occasions, a person will pass away without making a will, or without up-dating their will to reflect the circumstances current at the time of their death, or without making provision for persons who ought normally be considered as a beneficiary by the deceased. Spouses, including de facto spouses, children, former spouses, grandchildren who lived with and were dependent upon the deceased, and any person with whom the deceased was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased’s death, may have a claim upon the estate of the deceased. Susan Parker can provide advice making or defending claims.

If you would like to talk to Susan Parker about wills and estate planning, please email her on s.parker@parkerlaw.com.auor call 9283 1818.

Talk to us. Let’s get through this together.