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We routinely offer lunch-hour appointments, and by arrangement we can provide after-hours appointments, as well as home visits if necessary. Appointments to provide instructions for creating a simple Will can take as little as one hour.
You may not realise the extent of your own estate. Most people nowadays have superannuation, and many super funds carry life insurance or “death benefits”. When this is added to your possessions like a car, a bank account, some furniture & jewellery, and it is easy to see how it all can add up to quite a large sum. Make sure you protect it, and leave it to people or charities that you care about.
If you are over 18, have a car, some savings or some sentimental items, then you need a Will. Don’t forget that most employed people also have superannuation which is constantly accumulating during our working lives, very frequently with a life-insurance component. Almost everyone needs a valid Will. Even for those people who are not married, have no children and who do not leave a large estate, there are advantages in making a Will to simplify the administration of the estate you leave.
Accidents can happen to anyone at anytime. Illness can come on suddenly. Just like insurance, you cannot create the necessary protection after the disaster has struck.
Are you sure about that? Property-rights from domestic relationships can now arise in as little as 3 years; second marriages are increasingly common; complexities can arise from blended families, soaring property prices, business/investment structures and diminishing health eg obesity, cancer, diabetes etc. The risks of not having a Will far outweigh the modest costs or inconvenience in having one properly drafted. It is dangerous to assume that your estate will automatically pass to your spouse or partner when you die in the absence of having made a valid Will. In some cases, especially those involving domestic partners, those partners may receive nothing. Having this problem rectified and distributing your estate to people whom you intended to benefit may result in costly court proceedings that may take years to resolve.
Some Trustee companies offer free Wills in Adelaide on the condition that they are named as Executor to your estate. This means that they can charge a percentage of your overall estate to administer it – frequently this is thousands of dollars more than a solicitor would charge for the same service.
Depending on the complexity of your affairs, fees for preparing a Will are similar to an accountant’s fees for preparing and lodging a tax return – with the benefit that a Will doesn’t always need to be reviewed each year whereas a tax return does. Wills in Adelaide and South Australia can be surprisingly inexpensive, especially if a husband and wife prepare one at the same time. The real expense usually is in dying without a valid Will. That can possibly create a financial nightmare for the surviving family members. Almost everything the family will have to do after a death is more expensive to do without a valid Will. By spending a small amount of money now, you may save your family thousands of dollars and hours of frustration and aggravation later. The expense will vary depending upon your personal and business circumstances. You could think of it like paying to have someone prepare your tax return – greater complexity requires greater skill and time. Although most people only require simple Wills, it is very important that these be properly prepared.
This is possible, but not advisable. A single small mistake in making your own Will can be disastrous, and don’t forget, you won’t be around to clarify things. Family conflicts and arguments may also make preparing a Will a stressful process. Some people don’t wish their family to benefit from their estate . This is perfectly acceptable since many charities are more than happy to receive distributions from estates (however proper advice would need to be given regarding potential claims from family members) . Appointing an executor may also be a challenging decision if you have no friends or family to rely on. This issue can also be overcome. Some people also assume that a verbal agreement as to how their assets are to be distributed is also sufficient instead of having prepared a valid Will. This would be very difficult to prove without having any testamentary intentions in writing and, again, it could result in expensive legal costs in having the problem resolved.
Many factors other than wealth affect the need for estate planning, such as:
caring for a minor or disabled child;
transferring ownership of property in accordance with your wishes;
caring for your surviving spouse or parent; (4) naming a guardian or conservator for a minor child;
transferring a closely-held family business;
transferring ownership of property in another state;
avoiding taxes; and
care of pets.
These are only a few of the many reasons to plan your estate. Each person has his or her own objectives, but owning a lot of assets is usually not the primary reason to plan.
Under South Australian law, an individual 18 years of age or older can execute an Advance Care Directive and name a Substitute Decision Maker to make decisions regarding accommodation, lifestyle, health care and medical treatment. It is also common to add a person’s wishes and desires regarding life-sustaining treatment in such a document. It is just as important for a “young” person to have an Advance Care Directive. Some of the most controversial medical situations have involved young adults who were unexpectedly incapacitated, e.g., Terri Schiavo.
How do you know what the cost of living is going to be? Sure the kids are off on their own and the house might be paid off but medical bills and cost of living are unpredictable. What about aged care & accommodation? We are all of us living longer in retirement – and we may need some assistance to do so in the manner we would like.
Modern kids are more likely to move back in with you than they are to take care of you! Are you really confident that they will be able to afford to look after you?
Yeah, that will be the day when pigs fly. The Government hasn’t figured out if there will even be any social security in another decade or two. Counting on the government for a big part of your retirement income makes for a weak (maybe disastrous) retirement strategy. You are better off relying upon yourself, and putting your affairs in order now, while you still can.
SPECIAL REPORT “7 Things You Must Know
Before You Make Your Will”
In this report you will Learn:
Why home-made Wills can be a LOT more expensive than you might think.
The secret weapons used by the rich & powerful to protect their assets, and transfer their wealth two or three generations ahead.
How Estate and Trustee Companies make BIG money from “free” Wills.
The Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes, how they can cost your family a fortune, and How to Avoid Them.
The Elements of a Sound Estate Plan – why a Will alone is not enough.
How to Make Sure Your Assets Stay in Your Family and are not lost to creditors, lawsuits or ex-spouses.
How to guard against challenges to your Estate after you’re gone.