You must make a will if you have an estate at some point in your life. It will ensure a smooth transfer of your property, assets, and other belongings to your children or family members upon your death.
Contrary to the popular misconception, estate planning is not just for rich people. An estate refers to a large property but also includes your life insurance policies, motor vehicles, investments, shares, personal belongings, family home, and superannuation contributions.
However, rather than handling the process yourself, it is better to hire an experienced law firm like Attwood Marshall, who will take care of the entire procedure efficiently.
How can your attorney help you, and why should you hire their services? Read on to find out.
Reasons for hiring a law firm
Despite what you might think, estate planning involves plenty of complications, documentation, and an effective strategy, all of which you should leave to professionals with expertise in this area.
Not everyone has the exact requirements while planning a will. A lawyer offers expert legal advice and helps you fulfil your legal obligations. Further, they will assist you when you encounter difficulties during the drafting stage.
As mentioned earlier, the entire process is highly personalised and involves several factors like the assets you own, tax implications for your beneficiaries, appointing an executor, and if you should establish a testamentary trust.
Types of services they offer
A law firm will usually offer you these estate planning services.
Drafting a will
Anybody over 18 years is eligible to make a legally binding will. It ensures the proper distribution of your assets after you die. If you don’t have this document, the rules of intestacy will come into action, in which a body appointed by the Court will distribute your assets.
Your family members will receive only a tiny percentage of your property rather than what they are entitled to. However, the specific intestacy laws differ among states and territories.
Lawyers advise people against handling this process alone because you might not provide the necessary information, leaving the document open to misinterpretation.
Building a testamentary trust
You can establish this trust by mentioning it in your Will, but it comes into effect only after your demise. According to this arrangement, a third party will manage your assets on behalf of the beneficiaries.
These trusts are of various types and have plenty of advantages. For instance, it protects assets for your children even when you’re married, prevent bankrupt beneficiaries from being sued, and helps a beneficiary with special needs.
Appointing a power of attorney
It is a legal document that authorises someone to make decisions regarding your estate planning on your behalf. These are usually of two types: enduring and general.
An enduring Power of Attorney gives the appointee the right to make decisions on your behalf even if you fall sick or cannot make your own decisions. It is vital to choose the right person for this purpose, someone who respects your wishes and fulfils them accordingly.
Advanced healthcare planning
You might be unable to make decisions about your healthcare because of some medical conditions like dementia or stroke. The best option is to have an Advanced Healthcare Directive which documents your wishes regarding your health-related decisions in a legally-binding way. It will prevent conflict among your family members and ensure they respect your wishes.
Hiring a law firm like Attwood Marshall for the estate planning process is vital since they help you devise a proper strategy after considering your specific requirements. They will make the entire process hassle-free and ensure you manage your assets and property the best way possible.