Wills & Estates

Wills & Estates Planning Services

Estate Planning is relevant to everyone and gives you the opportunity for your estate to be dealt with in a manner that you would like after your death no matter how big or small the estate is.

At Carew Counsel Solicitors, we specialise in the following:

  • Wills
  • Testamentary Trust (Discretionary Trust) Wills
  • Memorandum of Wishes
  • Statements of Intention
  • Binding Death Benefit Nominations
  • Codicils
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney (for both personal and financial matters)
  • Appointments of Medical Treatment Decision Maker

A Will is an opportunity for the Willmaker to ensure their estate is distributed according to their defined intentions. A Will allows the Willmaker control over the beneficiaries from their estate and in what proportion they benefit. Wills set out who will administer the estate and gives a further opportunity to the Willmaker to pass on assets to beneficiaries in a tax effective manner.

Carew Counsel Solicitors can provide you with the necessary information on how to benefit your intended beneficiaries without burdening them with unintended costs, for example with the use of discretionary trusts.

Testamentary Trust Explained

A Testamentary Trust Will allows your beneficiaries significant taxation advantages, protection of assets against creditors and some family law protection in the event that your beneficiaries should later find themselves in a situation of separation or divorce.

Where you have young children or children with disabilities or drug and alcohol problems, your assets may be left for them in a Testamentary Trust with independent trustees who can deal with the assets of the trust in an appropriate way to benefit the beneficiary and not allow the assets to be wasted.

To complete your Estate Plan and to complement a Testamentary Trust Will, we will prepare a tailor-made Memorandum of your Wishes leaving directions and a code of conduct that you would encourage your trustees to adopt in the event of your death. It will give your trustees and beneficiaries an insight into how you would like your estate managed and the reasons why.

Enduring Powers of Attorney – A ‘Living Will’

The Office of the Public Advocate defines Powers of Attorney as ‘legal documents that let you appoint someone to make certain decisions for you, or support you in making and giving effect to your decisions.’

Power of Attorney documents can be either enduring (it continues until your death) or non-enduring (for a specified time e.g. while overseas).

There are also supportive attorney appointments for when the principal is able to make some decisions provided they have the support to do so and to act on their decisions.

Enduring Powers of Attorney appointments can be revoked at any time if you have the decision-making capacity to do so.

Enduring Powers of Attorney (for personal and financial matters) and Appointments of a Medical Treatment Decision Maker, are part of a collection of documents that a well prepare Estate Plan requires.

Estate Litigation and Administration

Estate Litigation and Will disputes can arise regarding the provisions made in a Will or whether the Willmaker had the testamentary capacity to make the Will. Eligible persons may be entitled to make a Family Provision Claim to the Supreme Court of Victoria. There are limits to the time allowed to make such claims and accordingly these matters need to be dealt with promptly.

 

Applying for Probate and Estate Administration

In many cases, a family member or close friend is appointed to act as the Executor and Trustee of a Will. Naturally, that same person is mourning the loss of a loved one while being tasked with the complex job of applying for Probate with the Supreme Court of Victoria and then administering the estate.

 

Carew Counsel Solicitors also offer estate administration services and tailors the costs to the requirements of each individual estate.

The Executors will always need to stay involved in the matter; however, utilising our services aids in progressing the estate matter efficiently.

The tasks the Executor can expect to undertake include:

·         Advertising and applying for a grant of probate;

·         Collecting estate assets and contacting necessary institutions;

·         Payments of any outstanding liabilities;

·         Administering assets according the Willmakers intentions;

·         distributing the residue of the estate to beneficiaries;

·         maintaining accounting records; and

·         organising the preparation of tax documents.

Carew Counsel Solicitors can support the Executor(s) through each of the above duties and applies an asset by asset approach to costings, using its experience in dealing with asset managers including banks, accountants, superannuation funds and real estate agents.

 

 

 

 

 

Learn More

Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence

by Bronwyn Gunning

With Australia’s elderly population on the rise due to the wonders of modern medicine, general improved living standards and the ageing baby boomer generation Read More

New Developments In The Law For Claims Against Estates

by Louise Date

The manner in which a person chooses to leave their assets upon death can have widespread ramifications for surviving family members Read More

Why Do You Need a Will?

by Carew Counsel

A will is your opportunity to provide for your partner, children, extended family and others including friends and charities in the manner and proportions that you wish and intend.Read More

Contact Us Today


At Carew Counsel we understand that selecting the right legal representation is an important decision.

Contact us today and discover how we can assist with your family law matter.