It’s a pretty awful situation to think about, but life is short. Things do happen and there’s never a guarantee of tomorrow. If anything were to happen, ensure your family will be ok because you have the right documents in place by speaking to Great Southern Wills.
Without a Will, the Government decides what happens to your assets and (if you and your spouse pass away), the Courts also decide who gets guardianship of your grieving children.
We’ve seen many rough situations where someone has passed away and their spouse with young children can’t afford to stay in the family home, wealth has been passed onto ex-partners, family members are fighting over who takes in the children, conflict arising between siblings over inheritances or families left in a state of overwhelm and exhaustion because there is no Will.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. By getting in early with a plan for your future, you can feel at peace knowing if anything were to happen your wishes will be adhered to and your wealth will be transferred to the people you really care about.
At Great Southern Wills, our documents cover Wills (including testamentary trust Wills), Enduring Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Guardianship, Advance Health Directives, Statutory Declarations, Binding Death Benefit Nominations, Deeds of Retirement and other relevant estate planning documents including a digital asset management plan.
In simple terms, this means deciding who would be your Executor to complete required paperwork after you’re gone; choosing a Guardian to raise your children, choosing a trustee to look after your children’s inheritance if they’re a minor; electing who gets your superannuation; ensuring your medical decisions are respected if anything were to happen; nominating someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you’re unable; and establishing testamentary trusts in your Wills for asset protection.
The work we do will ensure there’ll be no challenges in court and no family fighting. Losing a family member is hard enough as it is, if not for your own peace of mind, having a Will is going to help your family.
This is an area of law close to our hearts and by specialising in this field only, we’re able to offer high-quality expert advice and provide the best possible solutions for you and your family. In fact, we haven’t had one of our Wills challenged to date!
We’re a small, family-run law firm that shows real empathy, compassion, and care to our clients. We spend a lot of time getting to know you, and guarantee you’ll be working with our senior lawyer, Bernadette, the whole time (not a junior or law grad). We also want you to feel relaxed, so there’ll be no fancy suits and sports cars, no billable hours and no confusing documents. We’re as down-to-earth as it gets, explaining everything to you in plain English so you have all the knowledge you need to make the best decision for you and your family. Below is our 6-step process and it all starts with reaching out for a conversation.
Find out why so many clients prefer us over others!
Wills bought from a newsagent, post office or the various online offerings do not take into account your particular situation. And everyone has a unique situation.
Those Wills do not take into account superannuation. Do you know that your Will doesn’t cover superannuation? By seeing us, we can advise on your superannuation and your nominations, making sure your superannuation and life insurance are given to people you nominate.
By seeing us, we can discuss with you the various pros and cons of choosing certain people as your Executor, Guardian and Trustee. We can guide you and tailor a strategy for you! And you can ask us questions!
We’ll also conduct property searches for you. For example, to see if your home is held as joint tenants or tenants in common, and check for any mortgages. We can also discuss what happens if you pass away and there is a big mortgage to pay by your spouse – can they afford it?
In our 20 years’ experience, we have seen many newsagent/post office Wills and recently online Wills.. and you know what? They cost significantly more when you pass away… in legal fees to determine what happens to your superannuation, in legal fees because the wrong person was appointed executor or guardian and so on. There’s also the emotional turmoil and stress for those you leave behind.
Photo ID (like a Driver’s Licence) and your completed questionnaire. Our questionnaire is 4 pages and gives you prompts and tips as to appointments you need to make as part of your estate plan. We’ll discuss these questions in detail when we meet. For example, there’s tips on a choice of guardian for your young children.
Yes, we have a fire proof safe offsite. Tell your loved ones (including your chosen Executor) where your Will is, that is, with Great Southern Wills. We store your documents at no extra cost to you.
We are under a legal obligation to notify you of the closure of our law practice. We have a succession plan where a lawyer we trust and with the same values as us will take over our business, honouring all 3 yearly reviews and giving you a choice to keep your Will at Great Southern Wills and remain a client or to collect your Will.
BTW, we have no reason whatsoever to close our business. We love serving you!
Yes, provided you are all on the same page and all agree that we can act for all of you. It is quite common for farming families, as we tend to say we act for the “farm”.
We’ve also been selling gift vouchers to parents to give to their children – ensuring that any wealth that child accumulates or inherits is given in accordance with their children’s wishes.
Ideally, you should review your Will every 3 years. Also, a review is needed if:
• Are incapacitated or have passed away;
• Moved and no longer local
• Have had a falling out
• No longer appropriate.
It would also be ideal to review any Enduring Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Guardianship and superannuation nominations.
If you don’t have a Will, your assets will be distributed in accordance with a formula set out in the legislation. It’s an outdated formula as well meaning that your spouse could lose their home and your children’s wealth could be managed by the Public Trustee. Also, family members could end up fighting over your estate if each family member has not been taken into account.
Below is a link to a short video explaining the difference between:
Your first consultation meeting with Bernadette is FREE, and there’s no pressure or obligation to proceed.
In your FREE meeting, we’ll get to know you and discuss all your options. We can have this discussion at our office, over Zoom or in your living room – you choose.
To meet in our office or over Zoom – please click the “Book Online” button below and select a time in Bernadette’s calendar that works for you.