Elevate Family Law

Why Should I get a will?

  • Having a will is important to provide clear instructions as to how you wish for your life savings and worldly possessions to be distributed when you pass away.
  • In the cases where one passes away without a will (intestate),  there is a more drawn out, expensive stressful situation for the ones left behind.
  • A court-appointed administrator is tasked to pay out the liabilities of the deceased’s estate. The remaining is then distributed based on a pre-determined formula.
  • This may not necessarily be how the individual intended their assets to be distributed. In cases where the court cannot locate close relatives, the estate goes to the state government.
  • If you die with a will (testate), it is simply a matter of getting the will administered and your wishes fulfilled. There is the ability for individuals such as family members to contest the terms of the will if they feel as if they were not adequately provided for.
  • However, in most situations, your estate will simply be distributed according to your wishes and your loved ones taken care of as you intended.

The Process of executing a will

  • After the will has been located, and the funeral has been arranged, a schedule of the assets and liabilities of the deceased needs to be prepared.
  • The executor then needs to take charge of and protect all property, assets, income, and valuables of the deceased and ensure that everything is in a safe place and insured.
  • All relevant parties need to be notified including any creditors, debtors, beneficiaries, and asset holders.
  • The beneficiaries need to be notified of their interest in the deceased’s estate and the creditors need to have the opportunity to collect debts first.
  • Then a grant of representation in the form of a letter of administration is obtained from the court so that all assets can be called in and debts can be paid out and then the gifts can be distributed to the beneficiaries following the payment of liabilities.

Commonly forgotten things to consider putting in your will

Under the Family Law Act, BFA’s need to satisfy certain technical  requirements:

  • Important forms- where are they? Do the key people know where they are ?
  • Is your family able to access money immediately?
  • Passwords- do you have your important passwords stored somewhere for nominated people to access?
  • Social media accounts- what do you want done with your social media accounts after you pass away?
  • General ‘housekeeping' - redirecting mail , cancelling driver’s licence,, cancelling mobile phone, etc
  • Do you have any pets? Who will take care of them?

how we've helped people just like you

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Most frequent questions and answers

It is a legal document that appoints a person – in most cases- an attorney, to act on behalf of another person to manage their property. This is an ordinary power of attorney, which ceases to have effect if the principal loses the capability to make financial decisions.

It is a legal document which authorises one or more individuals to act on your behalf in circumstances where you are considered to be incapacitated to make certain decisions for yourself.

An estate plan is comprehensive plan that outlines legal documents that clarify and detail how you would want to be looked after in the event something happens to you and become incapacitated. Also details how your assets will be distributed after your death.

Certain considerations can be made , but you must be at least 18 years old to make a legal and valid.