Probate and Estate Law in Townsville
Ross & Robins Lawyers offers a range of Succession Law services including but not limited to:
- Preparing a new Will
- Updating an existing Will
- General Powers of Attorney
- Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Advanced Health Directives
- Letters of Administration
- Applying for Probate
- Family Provision Claims
- Binding death benefit nominations
- Estate disputes
How is your Estate going to be distributed upon your death?
Who will make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make those decisions?
At Ross & Robins Lawyers we tailor your Will to your needs and your specific situation in order to best protect, preserve and maximise your estate.
Having a Will helps to ensure that your estate is distributed the way you wish it to be. A Will allows you to decide who specifically you wish your assets to be given to such as family, friends, charities etc.
A number of legal requirements must be met when a Will is prepared to ensure that it is valid. When a Will does not meet the specific legal requirements it may become invalid and can be contested. To help ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes in your Will, it is important to have it professionally prepared by a lawyer.
Maximise your estate to achieve its full potential by having one of our expert lawyers prepare your Will. Our solicitors consider important issues when preparing your Will such as taxation and superannuation. By considering these implications you can maximise your estate rather than having the value of it diminished by taxes and fees.
Testamentary Discretionary Trust Will
You may also wish to consider having a Testamentary Discretionary Trust Will prepared. This allows you to appoint a trustee in your Will, which gives the Trustee authority to use their discretion as to how (such what percentage of your estate) and when the assets from your estate will be distributed. A Testamentary Discretionary Trust Will also allows for your Trustee to decide on who if any of the persons listed as potential beneficiaries your estate is to be distributed to. Your Trustee has the power to exercise their discretion so as to decide to:-
- Make a distribution to only one of the beneficiaries; or
- Make a distribution to just some (but not all) of the beneficiaries; or
- Make a distribution to none of the beneficiaries listed in the Will at a particular time; or
- Make a distribution to all of the listed beneficiaries;
if that is what the Trustee so decides when exercising their discretion.
The Trustee may also decide that a large sum of money is to be distributed to the beneficiary in intervals, rather than in one large sum. For example, you may set up a Testamentary Discretionary Trust Will with six potential beneficiaries. In this example, the Trustee may decide to make a small distribution to only one of the six listed beneficiaries and then the next month or year for example, the Trustee may decide to make a large distribution to all six of the listed six beneficiaries and then the next year make a medium sized distribution to just three of the six listed beneficiaries. The other the major advantage of having a Testamentary Discretionary Trust Will is that it may allow tax benefits.
Please Contact Us to discuss having your Will prepared.
Updating your Will
It is important to ensure that your Will is up to date. Consider having your Will updated in the following situations:
- Upon the birth of a new child
- When separating from your spouse
- Upon the passing of a beneficiary or executor in your Will
- If you sell or purchase property
- Any time when there is a significant life change
Powers of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney is where you appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf regarding your financial affairs for a specific time period while you have capacity to do so, however do not wish to make decisions for yourself or are unable to (for example when overseas). An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to give authority to someone to make decisions on your behalf in regard to either, financial, health and/or personal matters, in the event that you lose the capacity to do so.
Probate/Letters of Administration
When a deceased person has a Will, you may need to apply for a grant of probate before the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries. In contrast to this, if the deceased person does not have a Will you may need to apply for Letters of Administration. Applying for probate requires preparation of affidavits, advertising in relevant newspapers and filing an application for probate in the Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court grants probate, it deems the deceased’s will to be their last Will and to be valid, which then authorises the executor of the Will to distribute the estate in accordance to the Will. A grant of probate allows you to gain access to the deceased’s bank accounts and superannuation funds, and may also allow you to transfer property.
For more information regarding Wills and Estates, please download the Queensland Law Society’s Estate Planning Brochure.