Estate planning is important to ensure your hard-earned assets are protected and passed on to future generations in a tax-effective way. Estate planning helps secure your family’s future after you’re gone.
Empower Law Group, servicing the legal needs of Inner West Sydney and beyond, can provide you with the expertise and compassion necessary for preparing these sensitive and crucially important documents.
We can assist by preparing the following:
- Testamentary Trusts
- Complex Estate Planning Advice
- Power of Attorney
- Enduring Guardianship
- Advanced Health Care Directives
Taking the time upfront to prepare an effective, legally binding Will helps ensure your hard-earned assets are distributed or taken care of in a way that you like. Carefully considered estate planning saves families stress and money following your passing—an already undoubtedly difficult time for them.
Rather than remain uncertain that the Will you have is going to be binding and secure, engaging a lawyer to assist in this process is the only way to best ensure that you are following the legal requirements to fulfill your wishes.
We also understand that every family is different, with its own nuances and relationships, and we take a pragmatic approach to helping you sort through these difficulties.
What can we help with preparing a Will and estate planning?
Adhering to the law
Empower Law Group can advise you in regard to the estate laws, minimising the chance that your Will is contested or subject to family provision claims. Gaining advice in regard to estate tax (including capital gains) also needs to be carefully considered.
Writing a will and estate planning
Wills must be written in such a way that they maximise the inheritance for your family. Empower Law Group can also advise on setting up family and testamentary trusts, if your situation is right. Careful thought must also be given to choosing executors and guardians, and Empower Law Group can assist by giving you unbiased and legally sound advice on what the role involves to ensure you make the best choice for you.
Power of Attorney and Guardianship
In order to prepare for any future incapacity, Empower Law Group can put plans in place for you through Power of Attorney and Guardianship documents. This is important, because if the time ever arises that you are unable to make decisions about your finances, your medical treatment, or living circumstances, you can instead nominate trusted persons to make these decisions, in accordance with your predetermined wishes.
Don’t leave you Will and estate planning until it is too late!Wills and estate planning can be a daunting and confronting experience. If you are looking for an estate planning lawyer in Sydney to help plan your estate and draft your Will, Empower Law Group is the number one choice for many Australians as a client-focused, Sydney-based law practice. We offer personalised Wills and estate planning advice and a whole suite of flexible legal services tailored to your needs. Preparing your assets for the inevitable, whether expected or as part of a “what if” scenario, can seem confronting at first, however, being prepared will ultimately protect you and your loved ones in the event of your death.
Planning for the inevitable will help loved ones left behind
Having a valid Will through effective estate planning involves doing everything required to preserve your wishes whilst you are alive. It is essential to ensure that your assets transfer successfully to your chosen beneficiaries with minimal financial impact (from a taxation point-of-view). It is important to be prepared for the inevitable, so in the instance that something unfortunate happens, your affairs are all in order.
Adequate Wills and estate planning in Sydney, and throughout all of New South Wales, requires careful consideration and evaluation of your financial situation and of the circumstances of those you choose as your beneficiaries. This often includes analysis of any superannuation, annuities, pensions, life insurance policies, investments in any trust or financial interests in companies, which can extend beyond your personally held assets.
Proper estate planning should also explore the implications of claims against your estate by potentially eligible parties, to best ensure that your estate is protected as to the full extent of the law.
Protect your hard work and your family, and prepare for the future with experienced and friendly estate planning lawyers from Empower Law Group – call 1300 414 844 now to schedule a free phone consultation.
The Importance of Wills and Estate Planning
A key concern for many individuals is ensuring that their wishes are respected and honoured after they pass away. The thousands of Google searches for “estate lawyers near me” or “I need a lawyer to help me with estate planning” is a proper indicator of the sentiment shared by everyday Australians. The thought of preserving your estate during your lifetime to protect the interests of your loved ones who are most vulnerable or important to you should be front-of-mind when choosing the right estate planning solicitor in Sydney.
Estate Planning is not just about having a Will
Proper estate planning will require not just the drafting of a Will, but typically the appointment of an enduring guardian and assignment of a power of attorney to one or more trusted individuals. This may also include recording and authenticating your expectations for future healthcare, including decisions on “end-of-life” treatment, in what is known as an advanced care directive.
The reasonable costing of your matter is an essential consideration when retaining a Wills and estates lawyer in Sydney. Due to the sensitive nature of issues relating to Wills and succession planning, we take pride in our ability to offer fixed fee arrangements and provide true transparency about costs at all times.
Avoid family disputes and fighting over your will and estate
Are you concerned about family feuds over your assets when you’re gone? No one wants their Will to be contested, but if an expert estate planning lawyer does not set it up, there may be an increased chance that this will occur. Unfortunately, the competing interests surrounding Wills and estates regularly causes family bonds to break down. It can be a recipe for disaster when multiple siblings, stepchildren or blended families (such as former partners, married and de-facto) are involved. While some disgruntled beneficiaries may still be present, proper estate planning can assist with preserving peace and alleviate family disputes.
Empower Law Group has expertise across all fields of estate planning, estate management and Family Provision Claims. Our experience and knowledge allow us to offer expert legal advice on matters such as:
- Appointments of Enduring Guardian
- Asset Protection
- Testamentary Trusts
- Special Disability Trusts
- Appointment of Powers of Attorney
- Superannuation Planning
Family Provision Claims
- Challenging a Will
- Defending a Will
- Informal Settlement Conferences
Speak to a qualified Wills and Estate Planning lawyer in Sydney who can help navigate the complexities that exist or could arise.
Contact the friendly, professional team at Empower Law Group on 1300 414 844 to schedule a free no-obligation discussion on your future and the future of your loved ones.
What is the difference between a will and estate planning?
Estate planning is a process that properly considers your assets, your wishes and in some cases your beneficiaries’ circumstances to best ensure your assets can be passed to beneficiaries according to your wishes, in a tax effective way. Estate Planning can include documents such as:
- your Will
- a testamentary trust (as part of your Will)
- superannuation binding nominations
- an advance healthcare directive (how your body will be treated if you become incapacitated).
If you are unable to make your own decisions because of an accident or natural causes, you may wish to appoint one or more trusted individuals to make decisions on your behalf. The following documents might assist in that regard:
- a powers of attorney – granting others the ability to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf.
- a power of guardianship – granting others the ability to make health and care decisions on your behalf, for example, to select where you reside and what medical care you receive.
The documentation you select can differ according to your situation and what you feel most comfortable in trusting others with. You must be over 18 years of age and mentally competent to create an estate plan. A Will is a legal document stating what you want to happen to your assets when you die. It is part (but not all) of what is required for estate planning.
How much does an estate planning lawyer charge?
Most lawyers in Sydney charge between $300 and $400 per hour (or more). This may seem expensive compared to the “Make your own will” kits out there, but when you prepare your own Will you run the risk of not having your testamentary intentions properly captured, opening you your estate to claims, overlooking asset protection, and exposing your assets to added costs and taxation. You may think you save legal fees by preparing your own Will, but in reality, you may be causing a far more costly problem for your loved ones.
The cost of an Estate Planning Lawyer in Sydney will also depend on how your solicitor charges. Lawyers can charge by the hour or a “fixed-fee”. When charged at a set hourly rate, the costs will increase if you need multiple appointments to complete the Will and Estate Planning process. Suppose you have multiple assets or have other requirements such as the establishment of testamentary trusts. In that case, the lawyer might be required to spend additional time on your matter to properly provide professional and astute legal advice.
A lawyer that gives you a “fixed-fee” can be an attractive option, but can change if your circumstances are more complex than initially understood. The “fixed-fee” agreement will outline what is included up to a certain point in the Estate Planning process and the scope of the services under the agreement, until when effort and complexity will entail additional costs may be accrued.
We offer a tailored approach to our Wills and Estate Planning legal services, as every individual is different. We can create a bespoke legal solution which features a blend of the above fee structures to ensure you see value whilst maintaining a high standard of quality.
What are the main benefits of estate planning?
A Wills and Estates lawyer in Sydney can act in your best interests to secure your personal wishes effectively upon your death. Some benefits include:
- Understand the value of your estate better (such as superannuation).
- Minimise potential tax obligations through adequate planning.
- Support children and loved ones by ensuring they are taken care of according to your wishes.
- Business succession.
- Leave a lasting legacy on the community by supporting charities through documenting your wishes to distribute your wealth.
What should you not put in your Will?
Every individual is different, with unique circumstances impacting the wording and relevant inclusions within a Will. Even if you believe your affairs are straightforward, you may be surprised to learn the nuances involved with each individual Will. Speak with an expert in our Wills and estates team on 1300 414 844 to gain clarity on this crucial issue.
Whether your estate is complex or seemingly simple, having a legally drafted Will is the best approach to make sure your assets are distributed in the way you want. And chatting with an expert is the right place to start.
Is it better to have a Will and a testamentary trust?
A testamentary trust is a trust that is written in your Will. It takes effect when you die, and it’s administered by a trustee, who you usually name in your will.
The trustee manages your assets until your beneficiaries can acquire them. This is outlined in your Will, and is either when:
- a child reaches a certain age, or
- a beneficiary achieves a specific goal (for example, they get married or earn a particular qualification).
If your beneficiaries are impacted by the circumstances outlined below, you may want to consider setting up a trust:
- are minors (under 18), or
- have diminished mental capacity, or
- may misuse their inheritance.
Another reason to consider a trust is to avoid family assets being:
- split as part of a divorce settlement, or
- part of bankruptcy proceedings
We have estate planning lawyers in Sydney that can help you with estate planning, creating a Will, testamentary trusts and discretionary living trusts. Contact Empower Law Group on 1300 414 844 to get in touch with our caring and expert team of staff or enquire online today.