Home About Us Services
Business Services Personal Services
Our People Seminars Careers Contact Us

Avoid the wreckage...

Written on the 29 June 2010 by Warwick Gilbertson

Our litigation solicitors are often engaged in trying to solve problems after the event - a little like carefully picking through the wreckage after a car has gone over the cliff.

That is also why we have a team of passionately dedicated estate planners. Estate planning is all about creating structures to prevent the car from going over the cliff. It is about seeing problems in the future and putting in place a plan to avoid them for you and your family.

A Will is but a part of estate planning. It is a part of the plan to provide for people who are important to you. Why we have allowed Wills to be degraded in importance is beyond understanding. But, we have. There are very few people who enter the world of purchasing property without relying upon good legal or conveyancing advice. We rely upon the skill and care of solicitors or conveyancers to make sure the property we are purchasing is registered in our name and any problems attached to the property are either resolved or brought to our attention.

A Will is not about the purchase or sale of one property. It concerns and governs all of your assets. It is about the conveyance of your home, your investment property, your beach house, your investments, your shares, your business, your farm, and all of your personal property. And yet, we think that a Will is simple and have been told “No, that won’t cost much.”

“Well Joe, what do you want to do??” This is the typical question asked of the client when he or she presents themselves to make their Will. But, this is only the first stage of estate planning.

There needs to be a thorough investigation of what assets Joe actually owns and what assets he treats as his own but may be owned by another entity such as a company or family trust. There also needs to be a careful consideration of Joe’s personal history. You see, Joe’s been married before and has three children from that marriage. He now lives in a de facto relationship with Mary who also has two children from a former relationship.

“ What’s that got to do with my Will? Nobody ever asked me about this before.”

Planning to achieve Joe’s estate planning objectives is going to be difficult. We’ve only scratched the surface with the issues raised so far.

“But surely you only ask these questions if the person is extremely wealthy.”

It is often more important that these questions are asked in modest estates than they are for people who have considerable wealth. The impact of a mistake resulting in a large liability to the Australian Taxation Office or resulting in a protracted Court case will have more affect on a small estate than on a large one.

To help Joe avoid a wreckage, we would recommend he fully identify potential problems of the future, and put in place a plan to avoid them for him and his family.


If you have any further questions about this topic or you'd like to discuss a related matter, please do not hesitate to call us on 1800 994 279 or email us. A member of our Wills & Estates team will endeavour to respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

- Warwick Gilbertson
Partner, Wills & Estates Lawyer

Warwick Gilbertson - Wills & Estates Lawyer

Will Disputes in NSW


Author: Warwick Gilbertson
Publications

Court Authorised Wills

Since 1 March 2008 the Supreme Court has been authorised by sections 18 to 26 inclusive of the Succession Act 2006 to make a will for a person who lacks testamentary capacity and also to alter or revoke totally or partially a will of a person who lacks testamentary capacity. Examples of circumstances in which an application for a Court au...

Read More ...

Reasonable Additional Hours

A ruling in a September Court case provides an example of what constitutes "reasonable additional hours". This case is useful in getting an understanding of what "reasonable additional hours" means. Notwithstanding the Law will change from 1 January 2010. Note: If you are a national system employer, under current l...

Read More ...

Structuring Your Purchase

Many people neglect to consider the structure of ownership of a property at the time of purchase. It is a matter that should be considered and advised upon at an early stage, often prior to obtaining pre-approval from the bank. This is because your bank may have certain requirements, depending on the type of finance you require or how much yo...

Read More ...

Australian Consumer Law provides protection for businesses, not just your typical consumer

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) has been in operation for over 3 years. It commenced on 1 January 2011. Despite the name, a significant aspect of the ACL provides protection for business. Specifically, the statutory consumer guarantees contained in the ACL will apply to many goods acquired by small and medium sized businesses for use in...

Read More ...

Doing a deal with your ex-spouse has just been made a whole lot more taxing

On 30 July 2014, Taxation Ruling 2014/5 came into effect. This ruling has important tax implications for the shareholders of private companies who receive a payment of money or the transfer of property from such companies in accordance with Family Law Court Orders under the Family Law Act. Prior to this Ruling, it had been argued that ...

Read More ...

| 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 | Next


Articles via RSS rss
Events
Blogs
"I feel extremely comfortable and secure dealing with the Turnbull Hill team and the work you have done for me. All you guys have this professionali...

Ben Sharma

Home Bookmark Site Print Tell a Friend Contact UsLinked In Twitter Facebook enquiries@turnbullhill.com.au