Wills & Estates
Making a will and planning an estate has become more complex than ever due to the changing nature of families and legislation that makes it much easier to challenge a will.
At Lawyers by the Bay, our team is qualified in planning and preparing Wills, mollifying Will disputes and assisting with duties in regard to Power of Attorney. We are committed to ensuring that your Will and plans reflect your intentions for the financial well-being and ongoing care of your loved ones and in some situations, for the continued operation of your business.
We understand that everyone’s circumstances change, and we are committed to providing ongoing, expert advice to ensure that your Will is kept up to date to minimalize any disputes or challenges.
In the event that there may be disputes regarding a Will, our expert team are experienced in providing advice and honest assessments, whatever the situation. We appreciate the importance of maintaining family relationships and therefore resolving disputes is in our best interest, to ensure resolution that protects your loved ones from emotional and financial grief.
We prepare Powers of Attorney including Supportive Attorneys, Wills, Administer Estates, Challenge Wills under Part IV Applications and provide safe custody of your Wills and Powers of Attorney.
Early consultation with one of our experienced lawyers can ensure your peace of mind, no matter what stage of the process you are involved in. Plan your estate to ensure your loved ones are taken care of!
Have a question about making a will, a will dispute or power of attorney? Feel free to get in touch today! We offer a free consultation to begin and there are no upfront fees!
The legal stuff
To have a Will you must firstly be 18 years of age. If you own a home or any other property, have a career, have any savings or investments or have children then you really should consider preparing a Will either yourself or through a legal service. Without proper Estate Planning, you’re essentially allowing the courts to make all the decisions about your interests after you pass away.
Before you prepare your Will, it will be handy to have the following documents on hand:
- Birth and/or death certificates
- Marriage licenses and/or divorce certificates
- Deed(s) to property
- Mortgage(s) information
- Insurance policy information – be sure you have beneficiaries designated and current on each insurance policy
- List of all bank accounts – institutions and account numbers
- Investment portfolio – account numbers
- Funeral plans and burial plot information
- Names/phone numbers/emails/firms/addresses for your:
- Insurance agent
- CPA or accountant
- Financial advisor
Executor: The Executor of your Will is the person you name who will be responsible for settling your estate upon your passing. Choose someone trustworthy and capable of handling the financial, legal and moral obligations required to complete the process. Note that you can also name a Co-Executor, and many people choose to name an alternate in case their original is unable or unwilling to take on the task.
Beneficiaries: The beneficiaries you name are those who will benefit from your estate. They will inherit money, property, valuables and other belongings per your wishes as outlined in your Will and other Estate Plans. Remember that the more specific you are, the better the chance your estate will be settled as you envision.
For a Will to be formally valid it must be:
• in writing
• intended to be your Will
• signed by you on each page in front of at least two witnesses
• dated at the time of signing
When is a Will invalid?
A Will is invalid if it is made by a person who does not:
• make the Will freely and voluntarily
• have testamentary capacity
• intend to make a Will
How can we help?
If you're looking for advice, consultation or simply a sounding board please get in touch and we'll get back to you shortly.