Naturally, none of us is eager to contemplate our own mortality or what will happen if we can no longer make our own decisions. However, unless we commit to doing the necessary planning while we still can, our families and those who we care about will often be left to deal with the unintended and disastrous consequences of our inaction.
Estate planning is a complex but essential requirement of ensuring your family will be adequately provided for and will continue to thrive, once you’re gone.
Good estate planning is more complicated than most people think. It requires more than just a simple Will. At Brien Leibinger Lawyers we specialise in estate and succession planning, providing advice and helping put plans in place to ensure your voice and wishes are followed, when you’re no longer here to make that happen.
An important part of this process is to understand your assets. Assets you personally own (e.g. your family home, shares in private or publicly listed companies etc.) are estate assets which you can gift to others under your Will.
Non-estate assets are assets you do not legally own. These assets cannot be gifted under your Will. Examples include assets you own with others as joint tenants, assets owned by a family trust and, in most instances, superannuation assets.
Other arrangements need to be made to pass ownership or control of non-estate assets to those you want to benefit from them. For example, having a valid superannuation death benefit nomination in place will ensure that your superannuation ends up in the right hands, without any unnecessary tax being paid.
We Are The Cairns Estate Planning Professionals.
We’ll help you understand how your assets are owned and help you keep your estate plan up to date. We’ll explain the intricacies of succession, tax and superannuation laws in easy terms you will understand. By being aware of ‘hidden taxes’ like death benefit taxes, you can help minimise or eliminate the tax your beneficiaries might have to pay.
Most of us may have a current Will but how many of us have thought about who will manage our affairs if we lose capacity due to accident, illness or disease?
With a valid Enduring Power of Attorney you can ensure that only the person or persons you have utmost trust and confidence in, will be able to manage your financial and personal affairs in those circumstances.
Unfortunately, should you lose capacity without having an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, someone will need to apply to be appointed to manage your financial and personal affairs. That person may not necessarily be the one you would have chosen and they could be someone who is not capable of responsibly managing your affairs.
Putting an appropriate Enduring Power of Attorney in place is not overly difficult, nor is it exorbitantly expensive. Should you wish to make an Enduring Power of Attorney, contact us.
Can A Will Be Challenged?
Wherever possible the law tries to uphold the terms of a Will. However, there are some ways that a Will can be challenged. These include where the Willmaker did not have the required capacity to make a valid Will, where someone close to the Willmaker has unduly influenced the Willmaker to favour them over other possible beneficiaries and where certain family members have either been left out of a Will or are seeking a greater amount of the Willmaker’s estate.
Depending on the specific circumstances, it is often possible to take steps to minimise the likelihood or risk of a claim being made, or if made, not succeeding. If you are concerned about the possibility of a challenge to your Will, we can advise you about the risk of the claim being made and discuss with you any action you should take to minimise that risk. For more information contact Brien Leibinger Lawyers, the Cairns estate planning professionals on phone (07) 4225 5420 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We care about our clients and are pleased to provide a selection of fact sheets, newsletters and other resources, in our helpful online knowledge centre.More Info
Estate planning seems so simple, but we can tell you it isn’t. There are some questions we are asked every day, so we’re providing you with the answers here.More Info
Experienced estate planning and commercial lawyers. We put the plans in place to ensure our clients wishes are fulfilled and their loved ones are protected.More Info
I cannot thank you enough for your wisdom and excellent advice during the process of reviewing, updating and redrafting the multiple documents within my Estate. The legal complexities of the various documents were clearly explained and I felt comfortable in requesting multiple changes to the drafts ensuring their integrity and that the outcomes in each of the documents was exactly what I wanted and could be easily understood in plain English rather than legal jargon.
Patsy Bjerregaard AM
Brien Leibinger took much of the mystery out of our Estate Planning process through clear communication (verbal and written) and frequent use of hand drawn white board flow charts. This made it much easier for us to understand the process and options with our reasonably complex personal and business interests. Brien cuts through a lot of the legal jargon and put it into layman’s terms for us. We finished the process very happy knowing that we have done best we could do by our survivors with documents we are confident reflect our wishes.
Rob and Annie Webber - Coffee Works Pty Ltd
Brien is fantastic!!! ... We have always found his work to be of a very high standard. Brien’s correspondence is fast and efficient. He is extremely thorough and takes great pride in his work. We have always found his advice to accurate and insightful. Brien has always been very easy to communicate with. He doesn’t leave us behind with legal terminology that we don’t understand. We plan on keeping Brien as our legal advisor and we believe we would have to go a long way to find an equal. We would highly recommend Brien Leibinger Lawyers to both business owners and any individuals in need of a very good lawyer.
Peter & Chelley Howe - Rock Ridge Farming Pty Ltd
We have appointed Brien Leibinger Lawyers to undertake the legal affairs related to the purchase of several commercial and private properties in Cairns. In addition, Brien has attended to private family matters including the formulation of Wills for the family. I have found Brien Leibinger Lawyers very efficient, cost effective and diligent in the various assignments. Apart from the legal issues, I have found Brien to be a good friend and his advice from time to time has been very valuable. I would not hesitate to recommend Brien Leibinger Lawyers to anyone requiring a good lawyer in Cairns.
Sir Peter Barter. GCL, OBE, Kt - Melanesian Tourist Services Ltd