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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22/05/2020

Urgent Parenting Cases During Covid-19

How are the Courts dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic? The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia have recently released directions about urgent family law applications filed in their Courts as a direct result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). If your parenting issue has…

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01/05/2020

Witnessing Documents During Social Isolation

Given the unprecedented times we are experiencing, we all reflect on our lives and whether we have done enough to ensure our plans are robust to withstand an uncertain future.  This may include one’s estate planning. In our article in these uncertain times we have got you covered, we outlined…

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17/04/2020

Family and criminal law interplay: you need a master in your corner.

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘jack of all trades but master of none’ before.  Sometimes you need a master: a specialist in a particular area that is an expert in that field. In the areas of family law and criminal law having a master in your corner is essential. The…

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16/04/2020

Challenging a Will in the Australian Capital Territory

A key concept in the law of Wills is the freedom to divide your estate as you see fit. In the ACT, if a willmaker had capacity to make a Will, intended the document to be a Will, knew and approved of the Will’s contents, and was not subject to…

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