As Estate Planning Lawyers, We are sometimes asked "What is
the point of having a Will when they seem to be able to be
successfully challenged in court these days?"
We are often involved with Estate Disputes where Estate Plans
have not been put in place or adequately communicated to interested
parties. These issues regularly arise with blended families. Our
approach is to prepare a comprehensive Estate Plan to deal with
that risk, and with a wide range of other potential risks and
issues, to ensure your wishes are followed.
The value in a comprehensive Estate Plan is that it:
Reduces risks that may arise on death, such as unfairness to
any beneficiary, or failing to provide appropriately for a
beneficiary with a disability or an addiction.
Manages the risk of claims after death.
Provides for an orderly and tax effective distribution of
wealth in accordance with your wishes.
Clearly communicates your intentions about the Estate Plan to
all interested parties, to promote family harmony both in your
lifetime and after your death.
Minimises the risk of a reduction in an estate's value
caused by costs of legal disputes, by unnecessary tax/duty
penalties, by costs of unwinding inappropriate structures or by
costs of family arguments before the Guardianship Tribunal.
Manages the risk of losing capacity during your lifetime
appointing the person or persons that you trust to act for you
in regard to your assets where you cannot, after suffering some
directing the person or persons that you appoint as guardian as
to what health care you may want or do not want in the event of
severe health issues and where you cannot communicate those
directions yourself at the time.
Gives peace of mind that all these issues have been effectively
We consider that an Estate Plan is like an insurance policy. The
value of dealing with all these issues comprehensively is that
assets worth hundreds of thousands and, more often than not,
millions of dollars can be effectively protected. We have been
involved in situations where families have lost hundreds of
thousands of dollars on unnecessary disputes arising due to poorly
structured, or non-existent, Estate Plans.
As experienced Estate Planning Lawyers, we are also able to
provide our clients with options when they are considering their
Estate Plan. These options can include staging implementation of
various aspects of the plan into the future.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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