Developing a comprehensive estate plan is vital to ensuring that you and your loved ones are properly looked after if you become incapacitated, or in the event of your death.

With more than 50 years’ experience, the extensive knowledge and estate planning experience of our Wills + Estates accredited specialists will help you explore and understand the best options to secure your assets and protect the interests of your loved ones.

 

Your Will

Independent research shows that more than 50% of Queenslanders do not have a Will. We see firsthand the anxiety and distress this can cause families at a difficult time. It can also lead to significant expense in administering your estate and deplete the assets left to your loved ones.

Your will is likely to be the primary element of your estate plan, though it is by no means the only element. An estate plan is much more than just a will.

Whether your individual circumstances are relatively simple or very complex, we can assist you in making a will that suits your needs and objectives.

While a simple will might be sufficient if your circumstances are straightforward, there can be significant advantages to exploring other options, such as testamentary discretionary trusts.

Our Wills & Estates team can help you understand the options available and choose the one that is most suitable to you.

 

Letter of wishes

As part of the estate planning process, a letter of wishes is a document to guide your executors and beneficiaries in the administration and distribution of your estate.

Unlike your will, a letter of wishes is not a legally binding document. However, it does give you the ability to express wishes or preferences on issues that are important to you, but in relation to which you cannot, or may not wish to, give legally binding direction.

Our Wills & Estates team can help you make a letter of wishes.

 

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document appointing one or more attorneys to look after your financial and/or personal and health affairs in the event that you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself, for example, through illness or accident.

Not having an Enduring Power of Attorney can have serious consequences if something happens to you unexpectedly. If you lose the capacity to look after yourself and do not have an enduring power of attorney then it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for an administrator to be appointed to manage your financial affairs, and a guardian to be appointed to look after your personal and health affairs.

An enduring power of attorney can give both you and your loved ones significant peace of mind.

Our Wills & Estates team has more than 50 years’ combined experience in advising on and preparing Enduring Powers of Pttorney, and are experienced in assisting clients to appear before QCAT.

 

Advance Health Directive (AHD)

An Advance Health Directive is a document which gives directions about the medical treatment you want to receive if you lose the capacity to make decisions about your own health care. An Advance Health Directive can be used to ensure that medical personnel and your attorneys act in accordance with your wishes regarding your medical treatment.

This allows you to stay in control of your medical treatment even if you’re unable to communicate your wishes personally.

 

When you want to take care of loved ones, we’re with you.

 

Our estate planning philosophy

Working closely with clients our accredited specialists help you find the best possible solutions and then create a personally-tailored estate plan to provide tax effective protection for your assets so your assets can pass smoothly to your intended beneficiaries when the time comes.

Learn more with our free Estate Planning e-Book

 

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Binding Death Benefit Nominations

Superannuation does not automatically form part of your estate in the event of your death.

Rather, the trustee of your superannuation fund has discretion as to how your superannuation is to be distributed. The trustee may determine that your superannuation should be distributed to your dependants – for example, your surviving spouse or children – or to your estate.

Depending on the terms of the trust deed governing your superannuation fund, you may be able to bind the trustee to distribute your superannuation in a particular way in the event of your death, by making what is called a binding death benefit nomination. Depending on your circumstances, it may be appropriate to implement a binding death benefit nomination so that you can be certain that your superannuation will be distributed in the way you intend.

Our Wills & Estates team can help you understand the implications of making a binding death benefit nomination.

 

Control of trusts and self-managed superannuation funds

If you have any trusts as part of your asset structure, you will need to consider how they should be managed in the event of your death or loss of capacity, and by whom.

Our Wills & Estates team can help you review the status of trusts and companies, so that you can be in control of who should manage them if and when you are unable to continue to act.

We can also prepare any documents which are required to ensure that the transition of control of the trust can take place in accordance with your wishes.

 

Control of business interests

If you are engaged in business, it is important to consider how your interest in that business should be dealt with in the event of your death or incapacity. For example, you should ask yourself whether you would want your family to take over the management of the business if you are unable to continue to run it, or whether you would prefer that the business be sold or wound up.

If you are engaged in business with one or more business partners, it is also important that you consider what should happen to your respective interests if one or more of you die or lose capacity. Depending on the circumstances, it might be prudent to implement an agreement with your business partner/s as to what should occur.

Our Wills & Estates team can help you to explore your options and consider the various implications of your business interests so you can move forward with your business interests with peace of mind.

 

 

Doyle's Guide recognises Thynne + Macartney as a leading law firm in Queensland for Wills, Estates & Succession Planning, as well as Wills & Estates Litigation. Two of our lawyers are also individually recognised as specialists accredited by the Queensland Law Society in Succession Law.