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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29/07/2019

Disneyland Parenting

There are plenty of ways to sabotage your child’s relationship with your ex following a divorce or separation. Many are overt and deliberate, like openly denigrating the other parent in front of your child. Some are more subtle, and even occasionally inadvertent, like contradicting the rules or boundaries that were…

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09/07/2019

Children and Mental Health in the Family Court Process

It is no secret that mental health issues are prevalent in the Family Court system. This is not only as a result of domestic violence, but a variety of factors including social isolation, loneliness, severe or long-term stress and high-conflict arguments between parents and children, all of which can occur…

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04/07/2019

Does Australia have a death tax?

The recent Australian election included a lot of discussion about a ‘death tax’. This led to a lot of debate and confusion. So, you might wonder, if you die, does your estate have to pay an extra tax? The short answer is ‘no’. Death taxes, sometimes called inheritance taxes, are…

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21/06/2019

Which family lawyer is right for you?

How do I Choose my Family Lawyer? Separation can be one of the most stressful and emotionally charged experiences in your life, where you will need to think clearly and make big decisions about your future (and in some cases the future of your children). It’s not something that you…

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