Wills, Estate Planning and Succession Planning

At iWills Legal, our personalised approach is centred around customising Wills, Estate and Succession Plans to match your circumstances, because we recognise that each family and individual’s situation is unique. Receiving our expert guidance, tailored to your personal circumstances, can be greatly beneficial in ensuring optimal outcomes for your specific will, estate and succession planning needs.

Our Services

  • Standard Comprehensive Wills
  • Testamentary Trust Wills
  • Wills incorporating superannuation proceeds trusts, protective trusts, special disability trusts and/or life interest structures
  • Contractual Will Agreements (i.e. Mutual Wills)
  • Amendments to Wills (i.e. Codicils)
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Succession Planning
  • Advising on protecting your assets from a potential claim being made against your estate
  • Advising on overseas assets

A Will is an important legal document that allows you to decide:

  • Who you appoint to act as your executor;
  • How and to whom your assets pass on your death; and
  • Who will become guardian of your children if they are minors.

We provide you with expert advice to ensure that your Will is structured to maximise how your chosen beneficiaries will receive their inheritance.

If you die without a Will, your estate could be left in a dire predicament with no clear person to be the Administrator (same as an executor if a Will was in place) and left to be distributed in accordance with Intestacy Laws (a government mandated distribution), which, depending on your personal circumstances, may not be in accordance with your wishes.

We are also seeing an increase in enquiries regarding posthumous reproduction and voluntary assisted dying. Each of these matters are complex and the laws can vary greatly state to state. Speak to us if you want to explore these subjects and how we can include them in your estate planning including in your Will and Power of Attorney documents.

We can provide expert guidance as to when and why you should consider incorporating a Testamentary Trust structure into your Will. Testamentary Trusts can provide great asset protection and taxation concessions for your beneficiaries and can be particularly useful if:
  • You are leaving considerable wealth to beneficiaries;
  • You have minor children;
  • You have a blended family;
  • A beneficiary goes through a relationship breakdown;
  • A beneficiary has a disability or impaired mental capacity; and
  • A beneficiary has gambling, alcohol or drug addiction or is a spendthrift.
We can offer expert strategic advice as to how your Testamentary Trust can be structured to maximise its purpose based the circumstances of your beneficiaries. More details on Testamentary Trusts can be found here.

There are two main power of attorney documents which are commonly prepared alongside Wills. An Enduring Power of Attorney for Financial and Personal matters and an Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker. Each of these documents allow you to appoint a person or persons to act in your place for financial, personal or medical matters in case you are not capable to make such decisions yourself, and in some cases to work alongside you even if you are capable. The choice is up to you and we can provide advice as to how best structure these arrangements.

Enduring Power of Attorney for Financial and Personal matters

The main purpose of this document is to appoint a person or persons in your place to make financial and/or personal decisions for you. Examples of common financial and personal matters are:

Financial Matters:

  • Managing and paying expenses on your behalf such as utility bills;
  • Undertaking real estate transactions on your behalf;
  • Making money available to you for personal use; and
  • Refreshing superannuation death benefit nominations to keep these in place if you have lost capacity to refresh them yourself.

Personal Matters:

  • Lifestyle choices such as where you live;
  • Decisions as to whether you are admitted to an aged care facility or retirement living; and
  • Decisions around who can and cannot visit you.

An attorney for financial and personal matters must be someone you trust given the power you give them when appointing an attorney. You can choose whether the power is exercisable immediately, when you have lost capacity to make decisions for yourself, or on another occurrence as specified by you.

Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker

A person can nominate up to four medical treatment decision makers, but only one person can act at a time. This particular power of attorney is only exercisable if you do not have the capacity to make medical decisions for yourself. Common medical matters which your decision maker could consent to or refuse consent to are:

  • Surgeries
  • Medication
  • Resuscitation
  • Ceasing life support
  • General medical treatment

It is important that you consider how you would want your medical treatment decision maker to act for you and include guidance or limitations in this power of attorney document as to what your wishes are, and this will assist your decision maker with knowing they are making decisions in line with your wishes. You can also include non-binding wishes such as directions for your appointed decision maker to also consult with other family members.

We can also assist with the preparation of other types of Power of Attorney documents, including General Powers of Attorney, Supportive Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directives.

Powers of Attorney can be difficult to navigate and we can provide expert advice to ensure that you have appropriate documents in place to ensure those trusted people can manage your affairs should you not be able to.

The team at iWIlls Legal is well-versed in the complexities of business succession laws and can help you structure your business and your estate plan in a most efficient manner.

We commonly come across business structures that provide for no succession on your death or incapacity and this can put your business at risk. We can assist with preparing discretionary trust deeds, unit trust deeds, shareholder’s agreements, buy-sell agreements and unitholders agreements, self-managed superannuation funds deed or amendments to such deeds and agreements if they are already in place, to ensure maximum asset protection and succession structuring to offer peace of mind that the hard work put into your business and wealth efforts do not fail on your death.

As part of our comprehensive review of your personal or business structure, whether that be a single family trust for a family business, a complex business structure involving a large volume of entities and everything in between, we can assist with ensuring all matters of succession are considered to ensure that the appropriate succession of your business and control of your entities is in place in accordance with your wishes, particularly in circumstances where your trust deeds or constitutions may have been prepared long ago and are not up to date.

We have extensive experience with succession planning including changes to the appointor/guardian/principal roles of your trust, changes to trustees, establishing new companies and generally ensuring that your assets are structured in the most protective manner applicable to your business.

We can also collaborate with your accountant and/or financial advisor to guarantee that the solutions and advice provided not only enhance and fulfill your estate planning needs, but also align with your existing business, asset protection and taxation requirements.

Advice on Overseas Assets

If you have assets overseas, talk to the team at iWills Legal to ensure that your Australian Will and estate planning compliments your assets overseas and doesn’t cause any conflict.

Transitioning a loved one into a residential aged care facility or choosing a retirement village for them when independent living is no longer feasible can be an overwhelming process. It entails understanding intricate residential aged care agreements or contracts, which significantly differ from conventional property transactions.

The contracts given to individuals who have been evaluated as needing care are intricate and can be challenging to grasp. They involve numerous fees to decipher, along with continual assessments of the individual's financial situation. Important factors to contemplate include the entry fee and how it has been determined, as well as the ongoing charges linked to the aged care facility.

In contrast to buying a house, when you commit to a contract for a Retirement Village Unit, you are essentially engaging in a lengthy lease or licensing agreement.

The contract will outline your responsibilities and entitlements but given that each Retirement Village functions under distinct contractual structures, it's crucial to carefully review the documents to identify any potential issues that may arise during your tenure in the village.

Our team can offer you specialized legal guidance and a comprehensive grasp of the particulars within your residential aged care contract or retirement village contract.

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