Get Advice from our Experienced Adelaide Wills and Estates Lawyers
A carefully thought out and legally valid will is one of the most important documents you can put in place to protect your family. It will reflect your wishes for them and provide the basis for a smooth transfer to them of your intentions when you are gone.
For those left behind, the death of a loved one will be a traumatic experience. The last thing they will need is the added stress, anxiety and cost in navigating the legal maze if you do not have a clear and valid will in place.
If you are over 18 years of age and have assets or superannuation it is time to make your will. Our experienced Adelaide wills and estates lawyers can assist you in putting an appropriate will in place for your circumstances. Our advice and services can include:
- Writing a valid will that clearly documents your wishes in a way that will be least likely to be contested
- Advise you on the nomination of executors and the roles they will be expected to undertake
- Advise you on the nomination of guardians for any children
- Advise you on the options of testamentary trusts and discretionary trusts
- Provide advice on accessing tax advice to support your decisions
- Safe storage of your will and other legal documents in a fire proof safe until you need them at no charge.
Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive
We will also discuss the importance of preparing the Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive. These two documents are very important parts of good estate planning. They enable appointment of trusted and competent people to make decisions on your behalf immediately, should you become incapacitated or unable to make your own decisions. These documents may never be needed but are like a good ‘insurance policy’ and be there if you do. Good decisions at this point in your life may also have implications for your estate.
At Williams Barristers and Solicitors….
We will take the time to talk with you to make sure your directions are clear and that you are happy with the way your documents describe your wishes. Our initial meeting is usually around 1 hour to take instructions for your will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive. We will then undertake the drafting of the documents and arrange a further meeting with you where you can read through the documents, make sure they are as you wish and sign them. Further meeting times will be arranged for executors and appointees to sign the documents.
Once all documents are signed we make the relevant certified copies for you and offer free storage for your original documents in our fire proof safe.
What happens if I Die without a will?
Depending on your assets, Letters of Administration may need to be applied for should you die without leaving a Will.
Letters of Administration are similar to a Grant of Probate in that an application will need to made to the Supreme Court before assets can be altered or distributed; however, unlike probate, the law makes presumptions as to who is eligible to administer and benefit from your estate.
Therefore the people you wish to benefit from your estate may not be the same as those the law presumes should benefit from your estate.
How often should I change my will and other estate planning documents?
We suggest that you reconsider your will every 3-5 years depending on your individual circumstances.
It is particularly important to consider your will if you undergo any changes in your family, business or financial structures as your existing will may not contain sufficient clauses to address your specific needs.
What if I draft my own?
In principle, anyone can draft their own will; however, will drafting is a specialist area and unless you have requisite experience and expertise your will drafting may have unintended consequences that end up costing your estate and beneficiaries in the future.
We strongly advise people to get their wills drafted by experienced will and estate lawyers. Call us on 84519040.