Wills and Estate Planning

It is important to note that without a will, an individual’s assets will be distributed according to the requirements of the Wills Act 1970 (WA), which may not accord with the client’s wishes.

That being said, a drafted will needs to comply with a number of legal requirements to be effective at law, particularly wills relating to land that will need to receive the approval of a probate court.

Also, clients should be mindful that an existing will becomes void upon marriage or re-marriage.

In light of this, Rowe Bristol Lawyers recommends that all clients ensure that they have a valid will in place regardless of age and occupation, most particularly if the client:

  • owns land;
  • has recently married;
  • has more complex financial circumstances or asset positions;
  • wishes to leave property to numerous beneficiaries or charities; or
  • has had a change in circumstances since the previous update to the client’s will.

Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for your estate to be passed onto your beneficiaries in the most financially efficient and tax effective way. It attempts to eliminate uncertainties and maximise the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. Planning for the distribution of your estate is a complex but necessary component of your overall financial wellbeing. It requires much more than just preparing a will – especially if you have beneficiaries – and it may involve numerous administration requirements. However, if managed properly, careful estate planning can streamline the distribution of your legacy and protect your assets into the future.

Estate planning includes (but is not limited to):

  • preparing and executing a valid will;
  • choosing and executing a valid Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney;
  • preparing an advanced health directive if so minded;
  • business succession planning; and
  • deciding on the most tax effective way to transfer assets to your successors and beneficiaries.

Rowe Bristol Lawyers is experienced in advising clients with respect to all aspects of wills and estate planning, including:

  • liaising with the client to assess the objectives and wishes of the client with respect to the distribution of their property to their beneficiaries;
  • advising clients as to the type of will or power of attorney that would best suit the client’s objectives and circumstances (e.g. mutual will, mirror will, ordinary will etc.);
  • assisting clients to prepare and execute a will in accordance with their instructions and the legal requirements.
  • assisting clients to prepare and execute an advanced health directive;
  • assisting clients to plan and effect a business succession; and
  • liaising with other professionals to determine the most tax effective method for dealing with your assets.

If you require legal advice in relation to wills and estate planning, please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a meeting so that we may consider your specific circumstances.

The above information is provided as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The accuracy of this information may have changed from the date when it was published.