Plan for the future

An Estate Plan can help avoid potential legal proglems, including litigation

Planning for your future starts today

Estate and Succession Planning

Estate Planning aims to minimise risk during your lifetime and beyond.

For example you may have a property in your sole name. It may be appropriate to grant a Power of Attorney to someone you trust to sign documents in the event that you are unable to. If you have infant children we will assist you draft guidelines for the Guardian's information.

Ensuring that you have a modern and up to date Will allows your wealth to pass to your beneficaries in accordance with your wishes.

Gridiger Lawyers works with you and your advisors where appropriate to develop an estate and succession plan. This can involve a number of legal 'instruments'

 

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Estate Planning

Planning for the inevitable

Estate Planning (pdf 65kb)

An estate plan allows you to rule from the grave. Estate Plan allows you to retain control of your assets and enables you to determine who will make decisions on your behalf should you not have the capacity in the future. The preparation of a plan can address critical life issues contemplating your mortality probing the quality of intimate relationship and confronting potential physical or mental infinity.

  • Protect your assets from claims by someone outside of your immediate circle of family, friends, and beneficiaries.
  • Management of vulnerable beneficiaries: this may include someone that lacks testamentary capacity, is underage, or intellectually disabled.
  • Support a spouse and family.
  • Provide for the costs of education of children or grandchildren.
  • Ensure the continuation of the family business.

While we can plan for some things in life, other things can happen unexpectedly such as physical and mental disability, progressive or degenerative illness or injury, death, individual and family dispute.

The simplest form of estate planning is to write and keep an up-to-date Will but there is no such thing as a simple Will. We can assist you draft your testamentary intenions and lay down the guidelines with the creation of a Will to ensure that your beneficiaries, whether family, friends, or charities receive the gifts as you intended by preparing an estate plan.

 

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Succession Planning

Creating a Roadmap for change

Succession Planning (pdf 73kb)

Business succession planning is another of life’s “administrative” functions that tends to get little attention until someone decides to retire or leave. Often at this point the situation can be dire and can be described as crisis management.

There are many factors to be considered in a Succession Plan:

  • Relationships: client relationships are often established over a long period of time.
  • Knowledge, skills and expertise: Don’t let your knowledge base walk out the door.
  • Leadership: In some cases, senior charismatic management will have established an environment and culture that are difficult to change.
  • Provide for the costs of education of children or grandchildren.
  • Illness: The onset of illness or disability can leave a small organisation stranded.

Succession planning is an integral part of an overall business strategy to be shared and agreed with all key stakeholders. The succession plan will be your roadmap for future communications, change management, training and growth.

Developing these strategies takes less time than you think and will give you piece of mind.

 

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Power of Attorney

Appoint someone you trust to look after your affairs

Power of Attorney (pdf 62kb)

Sometimes we are faced with challenging and stressful circumstances that require us to make important legal or financial decisions about a family member or loved one.

There may also be circumstances where you can no longer look after yourself and need to appoint someone you can trust to act on your behalf. You may have become dependent or "lost your marbles". With the Power of Attorney in place, the appointed person can make legal or financial decisions about your affairs.

So, planning ahead is essential — as well as appointing someone you can trust.

 

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Enduring Guardian

Plan ahead: take full control of your healthcare

Enduring Guardian (pdf 65kb)

Sometimes we face the challenging situation of not having the capacity to make our own health and well-being decisions.

You can appoint an enduring guardian at a time when you have the capacity to make personal, health or lifestyle decisions. The Enduring Guardian will act on your behalf should you lose the capacity to make the decisions yourself.

You can adopt an Advance Care Directive and determine the functions of the enduring guardian. For example, you may choose to let the Enduring Guardian decide:

  • Where you need to live (nursing home, assisted care facility, etc.)
  • The type of medical treatment (including dental or optical) that you should receive or not receive

 

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Wills

There is no such thing as a “simple” Will

Wills (pdf 75kb)

During our lifetime, we all go through certain “trigger points” that determine when we should make or renew a Will.

Sometimes the events just seem to sneak up on us, unprepared, so don’t wait for the warning signs.

We can assist you craft your testamentary intentions. Testamentary intentions can be included in a suicide note.

Making an appropriate Will or a mutual Will that is kept up-to-date is important at any stage of your life. It is particularly important that you make a Will if you are at all concerned about who will receive your assets after you die.

Making an appropriate Will or a mutual Will that is kept up-to-date is important at any stage of your life. It is particularly important that you make a Will if you are at all concerned about who will receive your assets after you die. Often a after testamentary trust within a Will assists in the estate plan.

Preparing a Will is the best way to provide you with the peace of mind that your assets and belongings are managed the way you intended. These life-changing stages include:

  • Buying Property
  • Death of parent or spouse; relatives and/or friends
  • Marriage, Divorce
  • Inheritance
  • Birth of children
  • Business succession and/or sale; retirement
  • Change in legislation
  • Travel and/or holidays
  • Illness and/or disasters

You need to ensure that you plan appropriately for any of these events. Now is the time to give your situation some serious consideration — we are pretty sure that you would not want to leave any problems for your family nor disappointed beneficiaries.

Not only can we prepare your Will, we also provide valuable advice on:

  • Estate and Succession planning; Asset protection
  • Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
  • Understanding your legal position
  • Ensuring your assets will go to the appropriate people
  • Ensuring your children are supported
  • Establishing a protective trust for a vulnerable beneficiary
  • Anticipating challenges to your Will from disappointed beneficiaries

Take the hassle out of preparing a Will and ensure you’re prepared for future, and often unforeseeable, events.

 

CONTACT us today for more information

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Statutory Wills

Even a Will may not be final

There are some circumstances that are out of your immediate control, even when a testator has made a Will. The court may authorise a Statutory Will should the testator suffer an injury as a result of an accident or mental disability.

Unfortunate circumstances may arise where:

  • A person may have made a Will but loses testamentary capacity as a result of an accident or mental infirmity and cannot make a new Will to address the changed circumstances.
  • A child has acquired assets but may have suffered brain injury and is unable to direct where those assets are to go.

At this point it is deemed that the person is reasonably likely to be incapable of making a Will and to never regain testamentary capacity.

In these circumstances medical evidence may be required to demonstrate whether the person has any understanding of their affairs or of testamentary issues. The information to be put to the court generally comes from a specialist professional to support the client’s mental condition, typically sought from:

  • Psychiatrist
  • Consultant physician
  • Clinical psychologist
  • The patient’s treating general practitioner

If the court orders a Statutory Will then intestacy may be avoided. The Court appointed Will might also prevent other litigation from being pursued by members of the family or carers.

We can assist in preparing the information required to support an application to the Court that the testator actually lacks testamentary capacity. This can be a complex and time-consuming process.

 

CONTACT us today for more information

We also assist financial planners, accountants and lawyers with expert advice on estate and succession planning

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info@gridigerlaw.com.au

tel +61 2 9231 4888
fax +61 2 9221 8201

 

Level 4
Culwulla Chambers
67 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000

 

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