Wills & Estate Planning

Has someone ever said to you “you should really get your estate planning done” and you don’t really know what they mean.

What is “estate planning” and why is it so important?

The biggest difference with this firm is that we’re not ‘on the clock’ and we offer only our help on a fixed fee basis. When it comes to Wills & Estate Planning, this means we can take the time to help you and you can feel comfortable getting to know us. We often have clients who are not sure what estate planning is and so we thought we’d take the opportunity to explain it a little.

Estate planning is an ‘umbrella’ like term used to describe the process of planning for death or disability. It sounds awful, we know, however having arrangements in place that are tailored to you is likely to be kindest and thoughtful thing you can do for those that love you. Estate planning includes a comprehensive review of what legally happens if you passed away or lost capacity to make your own decisions and checking if what you learn from that review aligns with what you want and need for yourself and your loved ones.

For many, estate planning may simply include a Will and Enduring Power of Attorney carefully drafted to suit your personal and financial circumstances. Your documents will appoint the person or people you trust to handle your affairs when you go or handle your life admin appropriately if you can’t do it yourself. They will also contemplate and cover you in case something happens to your first appointed person. There’s many things you can plan for and those that you cannot. For others, estate planning may involve looking at the family business structure (including companies, partnership and family trusts), making sure the right people take over control of the right entities when key people pass away. It may also include ensuring the company has the right decision makers in place, if something happened to you, the owner manager. It can mean the difference between the business staying open and a forced closure while the family deals with tragedy, all at once. This will include Wills and Powers of Attorney and also other documents to ensure it all knits together properly.

Estate planning is all about putting the best plan in place to ensure you and your loved ones are covered and no two estate plans are the same. Estate planning includes things like:

  • Preparing Wills, including standard Wills and testamentary discretionary trust Wills
  • Preparing General and Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Preparing Advance Health Directives and giving directions about end-of-life care
  • Superannuation planning, including Binding Death Benefit Nominations
  • Reviewing family trust deeds about who takes over when you can’t manage it anymore
  • Considering business succession plans

Retirement & Aged Care Planning

Are you moving yourself or someone else into a retirement or aged care community?

Have you been recommended to get some legal advice about the paperwork?

The move to retirement lifestyle villages or aged care community is a massive step. Most of the time, people have not ever been exposed to the world of retirement and aged care before, let alone all the paperwork! And, let’s face it, it’s completely different to anything else.

Buying into retirement villages or paying a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) is nothing like buying your first and fourth home in your local residential community. Oh, and did I mention that the aged care sector LOVES acronyms!

Something that regularly surprises us is that we are one of the few firms that specialise in providing advice to mature persons or their families regarding these types of moves. They are a bit of a niche area and have their own special area of law; in fact, retirement and aged care are often thought of the same thing, however the law that applies to each is entirely different.

We help people navigate this unchartered territory for them and try to take the confusion and uncertainty away so they can begin embracing the exciting feeling of new beginnings of joining a new community. Whilst these are big life changes, we believe they can be seen as a wonderful new adventure to embark upon. We hope to help you ease any worry you have about the legalities of the move so you can just enjoy it.

We help with:

  • Reviewing the contract to explain the entry and exit conditions;
  • Answering your specific questions about certain aspects of the move;
  • Explaining the process of entering and exciting the village or community;
  • Helping you undersatnd your ongoing obligations in the village or community;
  • Answering any other questions you might have about the move.

Grants of Representation

Have you recently lost a loved one?

Do you need help getting a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?

Obtaining a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration is a process undertaken with the Supreme Court of Queensland. It can be an overwhelming process for many to embark on, so we have fixed fee packages for getting over this hurdle for you.

Our professional fees do not include the outlays that are charged by third parties for required advertising and Court filing fees; these are charged to you at cost. As these outlays are subject to change, we will provide you with a Costs Agreement at the beginning of your matter setting all of those fees out for you clearly so you know exactly what it’s going to cost beforehand.

We help by:

  • preparing all the court documents
  • arranging all the necessary advertising
  • filing with the Supreme Court of Queensland
  • getting the Original Grant from the Supreme Court and delivering it to you.