What is a will?

It’s a document that sets out how your property is distributed when you die. The purpose of a will is to make sure that the right person gets the right property and there is no dispute. If you don’t have a will then the law says how your property is distributed. This may be different to what you would want or it may be a more expensive way of achieving the same thing.

Even when people take out wills, many people who think they have provided for beneficiaries in the way they intended are unaware of the pitfalls that can arise if a will is not prepared correctly.

What is an estate plan?

A will is often part of an estate plan but an estate plan also looks at other assets that can’t be dealt with in a will. This might include superannuation or a business or a trust. The purpose of an estate plan is to make sure that all of your property no matter how you own it ends up with the right people in a tax effective way.

What is estate administration?

It’s the process of putting a will into effect. It includes obtaining probate, finding assets, transferring or selling them, paying debts and making sure that everything is finalised. Sometimes it’s relatively easy and sometimes it is not. Whether easy or hard it has to be done properly or the executor can be liable or people can miss out on what is rightfully theirs.

We’ve written some articles below about wills, estate planning, estate administration, and some of the issues that arise in these areas.

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Choosing The Right Family Lawyer

If I had written this article five years ago it would have said – when selecting a family lawyer choose one that is confident, knows the law well, has a good reputation and a winning record (or something like that). Now I have been practicing as a family lawyer for…

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How to Protect Yourself if Your Ex is Cyberstalking You

As a Family Lawyer, we come across lots of different forms of domestic violence. Some of those forms are more obvious, like physical or verbal abuse. Occasionally, we hear from clients who are terrified because they have good reasons to believe that their ex is stalking them by tracking their…

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How to Divide Property During a Divorce

The Court first considers whether or not it is just and equitable for the Court to make any orders at all. In most cases, this test is readily established (for example, when parties have joint assets accumulated over the course of a relationship that need to be divided to effect a settlement).

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Farewell Kathryn Heuer

Recently, we bid farewell and good luck to Kathryn Heuer, who has been a director of FGD since 2005. Having practised in both family and estates law since 1989, the breadth and depth of her expertise has ensured her reputation as a highly regarded legal practitioner in all matters relating…

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