Wills and Testamentary Trust Wills
Will preparation is an integral part of any estate plan. If you do not have a Will, you cannot control how your assets are distributed upon your death. A Will nominates who your personal representatives (Executors) will be upon your death, as well as how you want your personal wealth and assets to be divided.
Only personal assets are capable of forming part of your estate to be distributed in accordance with your Will. Due to complex family structures or the value of personal wealth, a traditional husband and wife Will (i.e. your estate to each other and then to your children outright), is often being replaced by a Testamentary Trust Will.
In recent years the term ‘Testamentary Trust’ has been used to describe what is usually a Discretionary Family Trust established under a Will. Their popularity arises from the considerable benefits that can flow from their establishment under a Will including: protection from bankruptcy; family law property settlements; the division of wealth amongst broader family members; and tax advantages for minors. These benefits arise from the fact that the assets of the trust, while they may be controlled by a potential beneficiary, do not form part of that beneficiary’s estate. The inherent flexibility and asset protection benefits of Testamentary Trusts make them a worthy for consideration in your overall estate planning strategy.
As part of the Will preparation process we will identify which of your assets can be disposed of by a Will, how to structure your Will having regard to your current circumstances, and what potential claims may be made on your estate. We use our experience and knowledge to tailor your Will and other estate planning documents to your circumstances, taking into account potential risks such as: bankruptcy on your part or by any of your beneficiaries, potential claims based on the location of your estate (i.e. overseas or interstate), any potential Family Court proceedings as a result of a beneficiary separating from their spouse, how your superannuation is to be distributed (especially in the case of self-managed super funds) and any other circumstances that might arise.