One of our areas of expertise is Wills and deceased estates, which includes Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, estate planning, estate administration, Probate and estate disputes including contesting Wills in Queensland.
At Dillon Legal, we offer Wills at affordable fixed prices with no surprises.
Why have a Will?
If you do not have a Will, then the Intestacy Rules set out in legislation will determine how your estate is distributed. The Intestacy Rules may not follow your wishes. For example, many people assume everything will go to their spouse, but this is not the case if you have children.
Not having a Will not only means your wishes will not be carried out, but it may also increase the cost of your estate administration, cause significant time delays and be a burden to your family and friends.
Who can challenge my Will?
In Queensland, a married spouse, de facto spouse, children and a dependant can make a claim against a Will if they believe they were not provided for adequately by the Will. You are able to make a claim against a Will for up to 6 months from the date of death unless leave is granted by the Court.
Are all my assets gifted by my Will?
No, assets you hold in trust will remain in the trust. As part of your estate planning you should provide for who will take control of trusts when you die.
Superannuation and the proceeds of life insurance policies may not form part of your estate to be gifted by your Will. You can take steps, as part of your estate planning, to ensure that your superannuation and life insurance is paid in accordance with your wishes. We can advise you regarding binding death benefit nominations.
Who will look after my children if I die?
If both parents of a child under the age of 18 years dies then guardians for that child can be appointed by the Will of the last parent to die. Appointing a guardian for your children in your Will is the simplest way to ensure that the people you want to look after your children are the people who do care for them.
What do I need to think about before I make my Will?
Things to think about before you make your Will:
- Who to appoint as executors of your Will. Executors control your assets after death, attend to all paperwork, make decisions and then distribute the gifts outlined in the Will.
- If you have children under the age of 18 years, who would you like to appoint as their guardian.
- Who do you wish to give your assets to after death. Also, consider who you would wish to benefit from your Will if your immediate family does not survive you.
- You will need to provide your solicitor with full names and street addresses of people mentioned in your Will.
- You will also need to provide your solicitor with a list of assets including superannuation, life insurance, trusts and businesses. Asset information is relevant to ensure the people who you want to receive your assets do. Some assets do not necessarily pass through your Will, for example, superannuation and assets held by a company or trust.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
What is an enduring power of attorney?
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document in which you can provide for who will make decisions for you about financial and personal matters in the event you lose capacity to make those decisions for yourself. The person you appoint to make decisions on your behalf is called your attorney.
Your attorney does not need to be the same person as the executor in your will. You can appoint different people as attorneys for personal and health matters as opposed to your attorneys for financial matters. You should always appoint more than one attorney in case your first choice is unable to act.
People will usually appoint as attorney their spouse, adult children, family members, friends or trusted professional advisers. Other options are the public trustee or a private trustee company.
Where people lose capacity and do not have an enduring power of attorney then an application to a Tribunal may be required to appoint someone to make decisions. This is time consuming and inconvenient for the incapacitated person and their family members. The Tribunal may appoint someone you do not want to make decisions for you, like the Public Trustee.
Things to think about before having your enduring power of attorney prepared.
- Who to appoint as your attorney in an enduring power of attorney. Consider who you would trust to manage your financial affairs and make personal and health decisions for you in case you lose mental capacity.
- If your first attorney is not available then, who would be your second choice.
For further information on how Dillon Legal’s Wills and Estates Division can assist you, please click the following link Wills and Estates Division Website.
ESTATE ADMINISTRATION/PROBATE OF A WILL
Estate Administration is the process of finalising a person’s affairs after death. This is usually done by the executor of the deceased’s Will. If a person dies without a Will then the law provides for who can administer the deceased’s estate.
The steps involved in estate administration include:
- Securing the deceased’s assets, such as, their home
- Identifying the deceased’s assets and debts
- Notifying clubs and organisations of the deceased’s death
- Finding a Will and proving that is the most recent Will made by the deceased. Depending on the assets in the estate it may be necessary to apply to the court to prove that the Will is the last Will of the deceased. This is called applying for probate.
- The executor or administrator will then collect the assets
- Paying debts
- Paying tax
- Distributing the proceeds of the deceased estate to beneficiaries
We can assist you with all steps in the estate administration process, including applying for probate and transferring property.
We are Gold Coast Deceased Estate Lawyers and our office is situated at Robina.