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

  • Top 3 Excuses for not having a Will and why you should - 21 Oct 2019
    Karina Penfold
    Did you know that Pablo Picasso, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson and Prince all died without a Will? You might be thinking if such high profile and net worth people didn’t have a Will, you too may be excused from making one, but that’s incorrect. You should have a Will and continuously review it.
  • Asset Rich and Cash Poor – What are the options for our ageing population? - 23 Jul 2019
    Karina Penfold
    Asset rich and cash poor is a common position amongst our ageing population. This article outlines the possible options for someone who is asset rich and cash poor but needs or wants to access liquid funds, or can no longer stay in the family home.
  • CBD-Style Legal Services Now on the Doorstep for Campbelltown-Macarthur Residents - 23 Jul 2019
    Warrick McLean
    Residents and businesses within the Campbelltown-Macarthur region now have access to a wider range of commercial and personal legal services, expertise and support following Coleman Greig Lawyers' opening of offices in the centrally-located Oran Park Podium.
  • 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.
  • Estate Administration - What Does the Executor do After Probate has been Granted? - 22 Nov 2017
    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. Once Probate has been granted, the Executor of a deceased estate must collect the deceased's assets and take steps to pay any debts or taxes - including income tax - owed by the deceased.
  • 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.
  • 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 Trusts - 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.