Most people are unaware of the importance of estate planning.
A will is one of the most important documents that you will ever execute. People are often ill informed about the importance of a will and how it can then impact on issues such as:
- Taxation issues, including Capital Gains Tax issues;
- The impact a will can have on discretionary family trusts, companies and other entities;
- The particular needs and vulnerabilities of a bankrupt, mentally incapable, or otherwise vulnerable beneficiary; and
- Providing protection from the deceased’s assets ending up in the wrong hands.
Enduring Power of Attorney:
An enduring power of attorney allows an appointee to exercise control over the financial affairs of an individual, even where the appointor has lost legal/ mental capacity to make decisions.
People often underestimate the importance of this document until it is too late.
Scenarios often arise where an individual is severely injured, loses mental capacity or is otherwise unable to function and requires financial decisions, such as accessing funds/ assets in a time of need.
Without an enduring power of attorney in place, orders need to be sought from the South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (SACAT), which can be a difficult and expensive process, particularly during tough times.
Advanced Care Directive:
This allows an individual to express any specific wishes they have about their health and also allows them to appoint an individual to make crucial decisions about their health.
There are now new rules about how these documents should be executed, which need to be adhered to.
Probates/ deceased states:
Probate is the acknowledgement by the Supreme Court of the last will and testament of the deceased.
A probate application is where the executor of the will provides all of the relevant information to the Registrar of Probates, who in turn authorises the executor to deal with the assets of the deceased.
We have experience dealing with a large range of complex probate applications and letters of administration.
We provide advice, assistance and strategy on various estate challenges. Whether it is acting for an executor or a potential beneficiary that has been inadequately provided for, we can provide advice and help you through a difficult time. In many instances your legal fees can be paid from the estate itself. There are strict time limits with estate challenges so speak to one of our wills and estate experts today.