Wills & Estate Planning

The effective planning of your overall estate and its allocation is critical. Marriage, separation or divorce, house purchases and other significant events may all impact on the way you manage your assets and how you would like your estate to be distributed after your death. Obligations under the law to family members and others also need consideration and for some people the tax consequences of the succession process are critical.

At Coleman Greig we don’t just prepare a Will and associated documents for you, we sit down with you to discuss your own personal situation and determine the best solution to make sure that you protect both your assets and your family and friends.

Our Wills & Estate Planning team works closely with financial advisers and tax experts to investigate the regulations and issues surrounding your estate plan and works with you to make sure that you understand the implications.
 
We can help you with:
  • "Demystifying" the estate planning process with plain English explanations 
  • Administration of your estate 
  • Defending or making claims upon an estate 
  • Keeping safe custody of your Will 
  • Preparing Powers of Attorney 
  • Preparing Enduring Guardianship appointments 
  • Regular prompting to review your estate plan and Will at the various milestones in your life 
  • Setting up various trusts

For more information, or to make an appointment at one of our offices, please select from the below.

Wills & Estate Planning - Our Clients

The Wills & Estate Planning team at Coleman Greig can provide assistance to anyone who is looking for advice or representation in this area.
 
We can help individuals and families with the planning of their estate and the preparation of legal tools such as Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship. We can also provide assistance with the administration of estates to those appointed Executors of a Will, and advice to those who may feel they have a legitimate challenge to a Will.
 
“Thanks very much for assisting me in reaching my goal of having a will and an enduring power of attorney all sorted out. The process once I started the ball rolling, was I must say very smooth and an enjoyable experience…..  Again, thanks for your advice, words of wisdom and assistance.”
                             Charles Warda

Publications

  • Burial or Cremation – Who Ultimately Decides? - 13 Jun 2019
    Rosemary Carreras
    Typically, one question tends to arise during the period immediately following someone's death: "who is responsible for disposing of the deceased's body?" - with this often being accompanied by another question; "how will the deceased's remains be disposed of?" If the deceased made a Will, the answer to the "who" question is found in the case of Smith v Tamworth City Council and Ors [1997] NSW 197.  The person named as an Executor within the deceased's Will is responsible for administering the deceased's estate and holds the responsibility of deciding how to dispose of the deceased's remains.
  • Claiming Executor’s Commission - 3 Apr 2019
    Rosemary Carreras
    Whilst many of our clients appoint their own children as their Executors - in circumstances where they are looking for an impartial voice, or the will maker is concerned that their family members lack the qualifications directly relevant to the task at hand, people often turn to trusted professional advisors such as accountants, financial planners or lawyers to have them act as their legal personal representative.
  • Defining ‘Digital Assets' - Where are we up to? - 7 Feb 2019
    Lisa Barca
    Whilst we know that there are no laws dealing directly with the accessing or transferring of a person's digital assets upon death or incapacity, the number of existing laws that dance around the issue can be incredibly confusing. This article takes a look at how digital assets are handled within the context of the law of wills.
  • A step by step guide to administering a deceased estate - 17 Oct 2018
    Louisa Daniels
    The period surrounding the loss of a loved one is always a difficult time. When all you want is time to grieve, administering a deceased estate can be seriously challenging. With this in mind, we have put together a guide to help walk you through the basic steps involved in administering a deceased estate.
  • The Falkholt Tragedy and the Possible Inequity on the Distribution of the Family’s Estates - 23 Aug 2018
    Rosemary Carreras
    A significant lesson that can be taken from the Falkholt family tragedy is the very real need to have your financial affairs in order, especially with regard to a legally valid Will which adequately covers all scenarios, including a calamity such as a complete family wipe-out.
  • Dealing with Digital Assets on Death or Incapacitation - 16 Jul 2018
    Lisa Barca
    The term 'digital assets' encompasses everything from photos, emails, domain names and blogs to online gaming accounts. What happens to your digital assets on death, or incapacitation?
  • Performing your Duties as a Trustee:  When can the Court provide guidance?  - 22 Mar 2018
    Rebecca Hegarty
    The Court can sometimes provide guidance or advice for a trustee faced with a difficult decision in the course of administering its duties.  However, there are parameters around when the Court will provide such advice, and similarly when it will decline to do so.
  • What happens when there is conflict between the Executors of a Will? - 2 Mar 2018
    Rosemary Carreras
    When conflict arises between executors, it usually results in delays in the administration process, increased costs and stress to all interested parties.  So what can we do as advisors to help guide our clients on who the appropriate people are to appoint and hopefully remove or minimise the potential for conflict? 
  • What impact does having assets overseas have on your Will?  - 22 Feb 2018
    Louisa Daniels
    If you do have assets in more than one country, it's important to ensure that your Will properly disposes of your worldwide assets - not just those in Australia.  One available option is to make a single Will disposing of all of your assets.  Alternatively, you can make a separate Will for each country in which you hold assets.
  • The importance of a professionally drafted Will - 6 Sep 2017
    Louisa Daniels
    It is extremely important to make a Will so that you can make sure that, upon your death, your assets pass to the people you want to have them.
  • I’m the Executor of a small estate- should I bother seeking a Grant of Probate? - 20 Jul 2017
    Rosemary Carreras
    Often, as professional advisors, we’re asked to take on the role of Executor for clients who may not have close family or friends to act or, for some particular reason, it’s preferable for someone independent to handle the administration of an estate.
  • An A – Z of Estate Planning - 22 May 2017
    Louisa Daniels
    We’ve all heard of Estate Planning and we know that we’re meant to do it but what exactly is it? In short, it’s the process of arranging the management of your personal and financial affairs both during your lifetime and after your death. There are four documents that we usually recommend people have in place for a complete estate plan.
  • What could the upcoming superannuation changes mean for estate planning? - 11 Apr 2017
    Rosemary Carreras
    In less than three months, the changes to super will have kicked in. It’s important to be aware of what changes in the super law could mean to your estate planning objectives and strategies.
  • Choosing an Executor of your Will - Things to consider - 1 Mar 2017
    Rosemary Carreras
    The choice of your Executor, the person (or persons) you appoint in your Will to administer your estate when you pass, is a very important one. Here are some things to consider.
  • New Principal Lawyer, Rosemary Carreras, appointed in Wills & Estates - 1 Mar 2017
    Warrick McLean
    Coleman Greig is thrilled to announce the promotion of Rosemary Carreras to Principal Lawyer, as of 1 March. Head of the firm’s Estates and Succession team, Rosemary has proven herself to be an invaluable asset since joining Coleman Greig as an Associate five years ago.
  • Elder financial abuse is on the rise - Don’t ignore the red flags! - 1 Feb 2017
    Rosemary Carreras
    Thanks to an ageing population, elder abuse is in the spotlight. We discuss what elder abuse is and the red flags that you need to be aware of.
  • Five common mistakes made by executors - 31 Oct 2016
    Rosemary Carreras
    We’ve identified five pitfalls to avoid when you’re appointed as the executor of an estate.
  • Is your SMSF binding death benefit nomination bulletproof? - 5 Sep 2016
    Rosemary Carreras
    When it comes to the requirements for binding death benefit nominations (BDBNs) in the context of self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), the provisions of the trust deed are paramount.
  • Appointing a guardian if you pass away before your child turns 18 - 16 Aug 2016
    Lisa Barca
    Have you ever thought about who would look after your children if you were to die before they turn 18? Perhaps you’ve arranged for your parents to take care of them, or maybe one of your brothers or sisters? However, unless you have appointed a testamentary guardian, you can’t guarantee that your children will be placed in the care of the person you choose.
  • How Discretionary Trusts are treated in Family Law matters - 16 Nov 2015
    Karina Ralston
    There is a fundamental misconception that Discretionary Trusts won’t be treated as property in Family Law matters. For the purposes of the Family Law Act, the Court will generally take the Trust into consideration, including it as property or otherwise making an adjustment to the other party, should the Court find that it is “just and equitable.”
  • Making your Will? Here are six things to consider - 16 Nov 2015
    Louisa Daniels
    It’s very important that you make a Will to ensure that, on your death, your assets pass to the people that you have chosen. Before you make an appointment to see your solicitor with a view to preparing your Will, you should consider these six points.
  • The use of Discretionary Trusts in estate planning - 16 Nov 2015
    Rosemary Carreras
    Discretionary Trusts (often referred to as family trusts because they are typically used to distribute income amongst family members) are probably the most widely used type of trust structure.
  • What happens to your superannuation on your death? - 7 Sep 2015
    Rosemary Carreras
    Did you know that superannuation is a non-estate asset, meaning that it’s not automatically distributed in accordance with terms in your Will? Below are some things you need to know about who can receive your superannuation death benefits and how to ensure those benefits reach your intended recipients.
  • Plain English Guide to Enduring Guardianship - 1 Jul 2015
    We all prefer to decide for ourselves where we live, who we see, which doctor we go to, what medical treatment we will receive and what services we will have. Unfortunately this is not always possible. Every day people are involved in accidents or become sick. Sometimes this can lead to them being unable to make decisions for themselves.
  • Plain English Guide to Estate Planning - 1 Jul 2015
    The aim of Estate Planning is to ensure ongoing financial security for you and your spouse during your lifetimes; and to secure a cost effective and seamless transition to your nominated beneficiaries after your death.
  • Plain English Guide to Family Business Succession Planning - 1 Jul 2015
    The issue of succession planning for family businesses is critical. In fact, research shows that only 30% of family businesses survive in the second generation, and 15% survive in the third generation. Given the number of family businesses in Australia, the failure rates are serious and it is important that families address the issues within their family companies.
  • Plain English Guide to Making a Will - 1 Jul 2015
    Most of your life is spent working to build up assets. Making a Will is an essential step in ensuring that your assets pass to the people that you choose.
  • Plain English Guide to Power of Attorney - 1 Jul 2015
    This Plain English Guide answers some of the more commonly asked questions about granting Power of Attorney, but remember that your lawyer is available to answer any other questions or provide advice when you need it.
  • Plain English Guide to Special Disability Trust - 1 Jul 2015
    The Federal Government introduced Special Disability Trusts into social security legislation in 2006, aiming to encourage private provision of accommodation and care for people with a disability. In the right circumstances, using a Special Disability Trust allows parents (and other family members) to provide assets for a person with a severe disability without affecting the person’s entitlement to the disability support pension.
  • Plain English Guide to Testamentary Discretionary Trusts - 1 Jul 2015
    There are many structural benefits associated with Testamentary Discretionary Trusts including asset protection and taxation. This Plain English Guide answers some of the more commonly asked questions about creating a Testamentary Discretionary Trust, but remember that your lawyer is available to answer any other questions or provide advice when you need it.
  • Plain English Guide to the Role of Your Executor - 1 Jul 2015
    This Plain English Guide answers some of the more commonly asked questions about the role of Executor, but remember that your Lawyer is available to answer any other questions or provide advice when you need it.
  • It’s all in the Family – The ins and outs of Contested Estates - 17 Jun 2015
    Rosemary Carreras
    You can use your Will to leave your things to anyone you would like to, however, your Will can be contested if someone feels short-changed.