An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you regarding your personal care and welfare and/or your property if you become unable to do so. An EPOA provides peace of mind, and also means that loved ones do not have to issue court proceedings to appoint a manager over your affairs if you have failed to do so. We will meet with you and take the time to understand your situation and your wishes before drafting the documentation that best meets your needs.
Elder Law/Estate Planning is a broad area of law that involves advice around assets and personal care. This includes protecting assets, appointing attorneys to act for you if you become incapacitated, making a Will, administering estates, and making or defending a claim against an estate.
We can assist you with the following:
- Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Estate Administration and Litigation
- Family Trusts
Our Elder Law and Estate Planning specialists will provide practical, cost effective and appropriate advice for your particular circumstances. Our Elder Law team includes a number of the firm’s partners and senior lawyers who have a considerable number of years’ experience in this very important area.
After death, your estate (assets and liabilities) is dealt with according to your Will, if you have one, and executors that you have appointed will distribute your property in accordance with your Will. We can advise and assist the executors in the administration of your estate, including making the High Court application for approval of your Will, identifying the assets, paying the liabilities and ultimately distributing your estate to your beneficiaries.
Sometimes a Will is challenged by individuals who believe they are entitled to funds from your estate, or a greater portion than you have left to them in your Will. Our Litigation team has considerable experience in both defending and bringing these claims.
Family Trusts are usually created when there is property to be transferred to Trustees who hold and use that property for the purposes specified in the Trust Deed. The main purpose for establishing a Trust is to protect these assets being transferred.
There are many areas where a Family Trust can protect you and your family, including:
- Family Protection Act claims
- Relationship property claims
- Conflicting interests in blended families
- Business risks
- Special needs dependants
Family Trust documents are not a ‘one size fits all’. We will take the time to get a thorough understanding of your assets and your wishes and then draft Trust documents that are tailored to your specific needs and aims.
Once the Trust is established we can provide advice on which assets to transfer and complete the transfer documents, any loan documentation and the requisite gift statements.
There are times when creditors or others may try to challenge a Trust to get access to the assets of that Trust. It is important, if such efforts are to be resisted, that the Trust complies with all the requirements of the legislation, including having appropriate Trustee resolutions and minutes. We can advise Trustees of their responsibilities and statutory obligations and assist with the fulfilment of those.
The importance of having a Will cannot be overstated. It allows you to decide who your assets will go to in the event of your death. If you do not have a Will, your assets will be divided pursuant to the Administration Act 1969, and you will have no control over who receives your assets.
If you have a Will, it should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it continues to reflect both your wishes and your assets. Our Will experts will meet with you, discuss your assets and liabilities and ensure you are fully informed of your legal obligations. We will then draft a Will for your approval and, once signed, hold it in our Deeds system (if you wish) for safe keeping.