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a legally binding Will is essential !

The courts are full of people arguing about the structure and format of their Wills so let us help you get it right the first time.

At Aussie Wills and Estates we care about connecting with our clients and understanding exactly what you need. So get to know us and take these super easy steps to get started…

Aussie Wills and Estates Lawyers
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Aussie's Estates Team will assess your needs and tailor a Will specifically for you.

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Sign the Will and make it official, you can do this from home.

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Secure and Store for peace mind.

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Remember, you can leave someone or some place anything you want in a Will, like jewellery, medals or any other sentimental items you have.

CHECK OUT THESE CASE STUDIES

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Max was 27 and didn’t have a Will

He suddenly passed away, he and his brother shaped surfboards together and had a cool collection. When his brothers Estate was sorted out everyone wanted a piece of the action and Greg’s brother missed out on getting the boards they made together. Greg could have made a simple Will and left all the Surfboards to his little brother. All items can be gifted in a Will not just big things.

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Lisa was married and didn’t have a Will

Suddenly one day her husband did a runner with his young secretary, he moved out but they never divorced, Lisa hated him. After a year or so Lisa found a new love and was really happy. Sadly she had a car accident and passed away. Because she didn’t have a Will in place under the law all of her assets passed to her ex-husband. A simple Will would have protected her estate and passed it on to a person of Lisa’s choice.

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Matt was a veteran of the Vietnam War

He had so many medals and lots of war memorabilia and he was sure the items were of significance so he made sure that in his Will he gifted the items to his favourtite war museum so future generations could share his legacy, that made Matt happy.

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Amanda died without a Will

She was not married and had no kids, her Estate was worth 4 million dollars and she had 7 siblings, none of the siblings got on and after she passed all the siblings went to court to fight about who gets their sisters money. It took two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. All Amanda needed to do to avoid this was to have a valid Will in place.

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Darrin had significant assets worth millions

But didn’t have a Will, he had two kids from a previous marriage and recently remarried a women that also had two kids. Darrin died soon after the wedding and under the law his estate was distributed according to state legislation. In the end David’s first children only received a minimal amount with the bulk of his Estate going to his second wife and kids. He could have protected his kids if he had a proper Will in place.

FAQs

What is a Will ?

A Will is a document that  asserts what you want to happen to your assets after you die. These assets are called your estate and may include your house, land, car, bank accounts, jewelry, clothes, household goods or investments. A will can also deal with how your debts will be paid and from what assets. A will may also say who should look after any dependent children under the age of 18.
All adults should have a valid will. It’s the best way to make sure that your assets are distributed in the way you would like after you die.

How much is a Will ?

Our Wills start at $550.00, that is for a very simple Will.

Wills that are more complex and include specific gifts to multiple beneficiaries, or  Trusts go up from there. 

Be careful with cheap do it yourself Wills, you get what you pay for in the Estates world so do it right the first time, after all its a small price to pay for the direction of your life’s work.

Why should I have an up to date Will ?

If you don’t have a will your assets will be distributed according to the intestacy laws of your state. This means your assets may not go to who you want them to.

An up-to-date will can give you the assurance that your loved ones will be provided for as you intend.

Your solicitor, a private trustee or the Public Trustee for your state or territory can help you choose an executor and draft a legal will that sets out:

  • Who will receive your assets after you die – e.g. property, possessions, bank account balances, shares and managed funds
  • Who will look after your children
  • Your wishes regarding your funeral and burial

While it’s possible for a legal will to be contested, setting out your wishes clearly and with the help of a legal professional can make contesting difficult.

Keep in mind that a will won’t cover assets that you own with someone else as a joint tenant. The surviving tenant will automatically get ownership of your share.

You can amend your will if your circumstances change, such as when you marry, divorce or welcome the arrival of children or grandchildren. Small changes can be made using a legal document called a codicil. If you want to make substantial changes, it’s a good idea to create a new will.

Is my Super automatically paid to my estate ?

Superannuation is not automatically paid to your estate in the event of your death – where it is paid will depend on your fund’s rules and any death benefit nominations you’ve made.

A Binding Death Benefit nomination or Non-lapsing Death Benefit nomination is a written nomination made to your super fund to make sure that your death benefit – which includes the total super balance and any life insurance held in the fund – is paid out according to your wishes.

Without this type of nomination, your super fund may be able to use its discretion to choose which of your eligible beneficiaries receive your death benefit, or a default procedure may apply (e.g. it may automatically be paid to your estate).

In most cases a Binding Death Benefit nomination only remains valid for three years, so it’s important to regularly renew it. A Non-lapsing Death Benefit nomination will – depending on your fund’s rules – generally remain in place unless you cancel it or replace it with a new nomination.

It is important to periodically review any Binding or Non-lapsing Death Benefit nominations you have to ensure they remain valid and in line with your wishes.

What about my LIfe Insurance

Life insurance policies outside super generally let you nominate who should receive the benefit if the life insured passes away. There could be multiple parties involved – typically the life insured, the policy owner, the person paying the policy premiums and the beneficiary. It’s common for these parties to be one individual, but not essential.

If you are the policy owner and don’t nominate a beneficiary, and the benefit is $50,000 or more, it will be paid to your estate. In this case there is a legal requirement to provide Probate or Letters of Administration (LOA) before the benefit can be paid. These are legal documents proving that the executor is authorised to manage your affairs. If the benefit is less than $50,000 it may be paid directly to certain individuals including a spouse or child where the policy owner does not nominate a beneficiary.

What Tax issues do I need to keep in mind ?

Your beneficiaries may end up with a hefty tax bill if you don’t plan how they will receive your assets. This is because the way you distribute your assets could have tax implications, including Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

Fortunately, there are ways you may be able to manage tax impacts. For instance:

  • Insurance policy proceeds from a super fund are tax-free if they’re paid to dependants  (see the ATO’s definition – Who is a dependant under taxation law).
  • A CGT liability can be deferred if a beneficiary of your estate is given an asset rather than the proceeds from the sale of that asset
  • Incorporating testamentary trusts into your will can help manage tax. This is something our estate planning team can help you with and you can find out more about testamentary trusts at ASIC’s MoneySmart website.
Do I need a Power of Attorney (PoA)

There are a few different types of PoAs, including specific, limited and general, that allow a person you nominate to carry out particular tasks on your behalf. However, an enduring PoA will let that person legally act on your behalf up until you pass away, even if you become incapable of managing your own affairs.

You can also choose to appoint an enduring Power of Guardianship that allows a person to make decisions about your health care, lifestyle and where you live.

It’s important to choose someone you trust and seek independent legal advice to make sure you understand the risks involved in giving someone else control over your affairs.

financial planner can work with you and our legal team to get the right estate plan in place for you and your family. 

What is a Testamentary Trust ?

A testamentary trust is a trust created within a Will that arises upon the death of the Testator that is set up in order to hold assets overseen by the nominated trustee, who eventually distributes the trust assets to the beneficiaries.

Who can make a Will ?
Anyone aged 18 or over can make a Will as long has they have “Testamentary Capacity”. This means that you must know and understand what a Will is, as well as its nature and effect and you must be able to communicate what you want to put in your Will and why.
Why should you have a Will ?
Even if you don’t have many assets having a Will makes it easier for your family and friends to make legal and financial arrangements after you die. If you don’t have a Will these arrangements can be complex and expensive.
What's in a Will ?
A Will usually includes who should have the responsibility for carrying out your wishes (executor) this can be a family member, friend or NSW Trustee and Guardian.
Who receives your assets.
Your wishes for funeral, cremation or other arrangements.
Who will look after your kids if there under 18
What makes a valid Will ?

For a Will to be valid it must be :

– in writing, handwritten, typed or printed

– signed and dated on every page and witnessed
by 2 people who are not beneficiaries in the Will
nor their spouses. They will have to witness your signature and sign
their own name on every page.

– they both need to be present at the time with
you and use the same pen with one staple
through the document.

-If your Will does not meet these requirements, it may not be enforceable.

the Smith Family

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