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BRISBANE WILLS AND ESTATES LAWYERS

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Wills and Estates Planning Brisbane

Will Preparation

Making a Will can be a daunting task. It is estimated that some 40% of Australians don’t have a legal will. Without a legal Will, there is no guarantee your estate will be settled as you wish. Your Last Will and Testament is therefore, one of the most important legal documents you will ever sign.

Making a Will can be a daunting task. It is estimated that some 40% of Australians don’t have a legal will. Without a legal Will, there is no guarantee your estate will be settled as you wish. Your Last Will and Testament is therefore one of the most important legal documents you will ever sign.

While do-it-yourself Will kits are available, it is far safer to seek expert advice to ensure your Will accurately reflects your wishes, is properly drafted and legally executed. BigLaw have been advising on, drafting, and executing Wills for our clients for many years and have vast experience in this most important area of the law.

Our advice involves:

  • An initial consultation to fully understand your wishes
  • Advising on “mirror” husband and wife Wills
  • Advising on appointment of Guardians for any children under the age of 18
  • Advising on Testamentary Trusts
  • Advising on Appointment of Executors
  • Drafting the Will as discussed.
  • Review and execution of the completed Will
  • Reviewing, and where necessary, updating existing Wills due to changed circumstances such as marriage, divorce or the birth of children / grandchildren.

If you don’t have a Will, or would like to update your existing Will, we invite you to come in and see one of our friendly lawyers. BigLaw will ensure your loved ones are provided for exactly as you wish, and give you the peace of mind you need in this most important area of your financial affairs.

Some of the best fictional drama comes from families battling over an inheritance. In real life, will contests are somewhat more rare than the movies may suggest, but they still occur from time to time and are increasing.

A dependent can challenge a will. If you believe you’ve been treated unfairly in someone else’s will, or if you’re trying to draft a will in a family situation in which there’s a risk of someone challenging it, it is important to seek help from someone with expertise in this area like BigLaw.

Administering the Estate of a loved one can be emotional and difficult at the best of times. It is even more so where the deceased passed away without a will. Whatever your situation, BigLaw act with all the compassion and expertise you need to ensure the process is as painless as possible.

Our experience covers:

  • Advising the Executor of the Estate
  • Advising Beneficiaries
  • Applying for and obtaining Probate
  • Obtaining Letters of Administration if required
  • Contacting all relevant authorities
  • Management of Estate issues such as property transfers, superannuation payments, share transfers
  • Management of Estate Funds until Probate is granted
  • Making and defending Estate claims
A Power of Attorney is an authority for a family member or someone you trust to act on your behalf in health or financial matters.

There are two types of Powers of Attorney:

  • General Power of Attorney
  • Enduring Power of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney authorises someone to act on your behalf in financial matters in your absence. This often happens, for example, if you are taking an extended trip overseas and you need someone to undertake a financial transaction on your behalf such as selling a property or making a financial decision on your behalf. A General Power of Attorney is often temporary and can be revoked when the reason for putting it in place ceases to exist.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is usually established in the event of serious illness or accident involving a loss of legal mental capacity. An Enduring Power of Attorney authorises a nominated person to act on your behalf in relation to financial matters, as well as matters relating to your health, care and well-being. They are often used by elderly people suffering Alzheimers or Dementia who are no longer able to make decisions for themselves.

Clients are encouraged to prepare a Power of Attorney at the same time they prepare a Will. BigLaw can provide you with all the information you need to make a decision about preparing a Power of Attorney. This will include:

  • What type of Power of Attorney best suits your requirements
  • Specifying the types of decisions the Attorney you nominate can make on your behalf
  • Appointing an Attorney
  • Whether you wish an Enduring Power of Attorney to take effect immediately, or be invoked upon some future event, such as loss of legal mental capacity
  • Whether you wish the Enduring Power of Attorney to be registered
  • Advice on what to do if you suspect your Attorney is acting improperly
  • Revoking a Power of Attorney
Superannuation has become one of the major financial assets that many people will accumulate in their lifetime. Due to the importance of this asset (which often has life insurance attached to it, making it even more significant), it is imperative to know how it is dealt with if you should pass away.

Many people assume that superannuation will form part of their estate and be dealt with by their Will along with all their other assets, but this is not necessarily the case.

Superannuation is held in a trust structure – this means that there is a Trustee. For employer schemes, the trustee is usually a large institution. In the case of self-managed funds, the trustee could be a person or a private company.

When a member of the fund dies, the trustee of the superfund often has a discretion (if this power is given to it by the Trust Deed, which it normally is) to pay out the super entitlements as the Trustee sees fit. The trustee does not necessarily have to follow the wishes set down in the deceased member’s Will.

Talk to the experienced lawyers at BigLaw to see what you can do to ensure that your wishes in regards to distribution of this important asset are followed.

Wills Planning & Estate Planning Lawyers Brisbane

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“BigLaw is all about providing legal help to people without the big legal fees and inconvenience of the big city law firms”

TONY BIGGAR – Legal Practitioner Director