Estate Planning

Estate planning is more than ensuring that you have an up-to-date and valid Will. An effective plan allows you to make informed decisions about the control and transfer of your wealth. Our experienced team will work with you to ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes and doesn’t end up in the hands of unintended beneficiaries.


A trusted team to assist with your Estate Planning

There are many important issues to consider when preparing your Will and estate plan, including:

  • Whether your Will should be drafted with or without testamentary trusts, to effectively transfer your assets to your chosen beneficiaries
  • Choosing an appropriate executor of your estate, and trustees of trusts established by your Will
  • Choosing an appropriate guardian for your minor children
  • Understanding the nature of your estate and how your assets are owned
  • Appointing appropriate attorneys to make important lifestyle, medical and financial decisions on your behalf in the event you lose capacity.

Although every estate plan should include an up-to-date and valid Will, estate planning is more than that. An effective estate plan places your beneficiaries in a better position to receive their inheritance while also ensuring your assets are protected from bankruptcy, creditors, family disputes and relationship breakdown. It will also protect your assets and lifestyle during your life in the event you become unable to manage your own affairs.

Our Services

  • Wills

    A Will is one of the most important legal documents that you will sign in your lifetime. It sets out what you would like to happen to your estate. We know that you want to get it right.

    No matter what your age, or stage of life, it is important that you invest some time in planning how you would like your wishes to be carried out when you die. You may not think you own much of value, but remember your potential estate can include your superannuation, life insurance and chattels.

    Careful estate planning will help to ensure that your intended beneficiaries receive your estate, as well as minimising the risk of claims being made against your estate. A well-drafted Will takes care of the ‘what ifs’ and importantly lets your loved ones know exactly what your wishes are. Your Will puts you in control.

  • Trusts

    A trust is essentially a legal structure whereby a person or company (the trustee) holds assets on trust for the benefit of a group of beneficiaries. The trustee is responsible for the trust and its assets and has day to day control and management of the trust. The terms of the trust will be set out in a Trust Deed. The appointor is the person with real control of the trust. The appointor has the power to hire and fire the trustee at his or her discretion.

    A testamentary trust is a trust established under a Will where some or all your estate assets are held “upon trust” for beneficiaries. As a Will only operates upon the death of a will-maker (also referred to as a testator or testatrix), a testamentary trust only comes into operation (if at all) after the will-maker’s death. The management and control of the trust is undertaken by a person or persons or company and it is their responsibility to ensure that the terms of the trust are adhered to and that your intentions are fulfilled. The trustee also has the power to distribute income and capital of the trust fund to the beneficiaries. These terms are set out in the Will.

    The term “family trust” refers to a discretionary trust which is usually established for the benefit of a family to hold assets or conduct a family business. They are often created for asset protection and tax purposes. In a family trust, the beneficiaries are usually all related, however they can also include family companies, other family trusts and charities. With a family or discretionary trust, the trustee has discretion to decide which beneficiaries receive income and capital from the trust. This is different to a “fixed trust” (e.g. a unit trust) where the beneficiaries’ entitlements to income and capital are fixed. The trustee can also elect to distribute different types of income to different beneficiaries. This means family trusts can be quite tax effective.

  • Enduring Powers of Attorney

    A Power of Attorney is a formal document which appoints someone you trust to make personal and/or financial decisions on your behalf. The power to make those decisions may commence immediately or upon the occurrence of a particular date or event.

  • Advance Health Directives

    An Advance Health Directive is a formal set of instructions for your future health care. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘living Will’ and is used if you become unable to make decisions due to illness or incapacity. It allows your wishes to be known and gives health professionals direction about the treatment you want. This often takes the burden of these decisions away from family members.

Ask us how we can help

Barry Nilsson acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we conduct our business, and pays respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.
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