Basic Rules for Estate Planning and Wills for Families

Basic Rules for Modern Estate Planning & Wills for Families

Don’t know where to start?
Here are some basic guidelines to follow when getting your Family's Estate Planning and Wills sorted.

Over time, most people will have amassed a significant list of valuable assets during their lives, but when they are first starting out, they may use a Life Insurance policy to create an immediate inheritance available now, until their assets increase in value later.


Get your Power of Attorney sorted first

The beginning of all good Estate Planning starts with understanding why everyone needs a Power of Attorney document so you have somebody legally authorised to make financial decisions for you if you're unable to because of a sickness, injury, or absence.


Power of Enduring Guardianship sorted next

While this document's name is slightly different in each Australian state, the intention is the same - to legally appoint somebody authorised to make health and lifestyle decisions for you, if you're ever unable to because you lose mental capacity. While there is a legal hierarchy of who medical staff must consult first to make life-saving decisions about you, you may not wish to give away that power to someone you would not choose yourself. Choose and legally nominate your own ‘Responsible Person’ with a Power of Enduring Guardianship document.


Know who you want to leave your assets to upon your passing

Think about your long term picture. Do you have dependent children? Are your children now adults with their own families? Is your family more a family of choice than a biological one? Do you wish to leave your assets only to a handful of specific people and restrict who can make a claim on your Will?


Know who you do not want to leave your assets to upon your passing

Do you suspect certain people may contest your wishes in your Will? Do something proactive about that and make sure you include a ‘Considered Person Clause’ in your Will to help identify and exclude them. Take action today. Remember only Estate-Assets are transferred via a Will, so learn about Non-Estate Assets.


Is it possible future beneficiaries of your Will may face Divorce, Bankruptcy or Addictions?

Looking into the future and covering all possibilities is impossible, but we can use a Protective Will to address the top 5 risks that future beneficiaries and their families may face - the need for protection for Bankruptcy, Divorce, Addictions, Superannuation Proceeds, and Vulnerable Beneficiary Maintenance Trusts. There are clearly some life events that may unexpectedly affect us all later which could interfere with receiving and keeping a future inheritance. Take action today through your Will to safeguard any future inheritance.


Appoint Guardians for your children under 18, just in case

Possible future Guardians for Children can be nominated in your Will. While such nominations if ever needed must ultimately be approved by the Family Court, your legal nomination of them in your Will now has significant sway with the court's final decision later.


Make sure you fund potential future guardians to care for your children adequately

If you have children or frail-aged parents that require looking after in the event you unexpectedly pass away, make sure you leave sufficient funds (or leave a dedicated life insurance policy for this purpose alone) to fund the care and provision of the vulnerable people in your life.


Insist upon safe storage of Wills & Legal Documents in a Safe Document Service - No exceptions

Make it known to your family and Wills Executor all your original Key Legal Documents are securely stored and held in trust in a dedicated legal document storage facility and that access will require 100 points of ID and a death certificate. Remove any question of lost Wills or assertions of ‘possible tampering with a legal document’.

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