Wills & Estates
There are many factors to consider when planning your estate. Indeed you may start as early as business or family farm succession planning for your retirement, and plan strategically for your end of life and the legacy you’ve worked hard to create.
There are a range of areas where Douglas & Collins can provide expert support.
Writing a legally binding Will
A Will is a written document that sets out what you want to happen to your property (your ‘estate’) after you die. Should you not make a Will, state laws will decide how to distribute your assets, and unintended inheritance and consequences may occur.
While some people may be happy with an off the shelf will kit, a correctly prepared Will is an incredibly important task to undertake especially as lives, families and assets become more complicated. The process is simple but needs to meet specific legal requirements for it to be valid and your estate administered in accordance with your wishes.
The team at Douglas & Collins are highly experienced in the planning and preparation of Wills, whether simple or complex. We will ensure all requirements are fulfilled and discuss all areas of consideration, so you know your final wishes are recorded.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Appointing a person to manage your financial and property affairs requires careful consideration. We can guide and advise you through this process and make all arrangements to put your chosen plan in place. This can provide you comfort in knowing your financial and legal affairs will be managed by someone you trust in the event you are unable to do so yourself.
Like an enduring power of attorney, appointing an enduring guardian requires consideration. In the event you lose the capacity to make lifestyle or personal decisions, your guardian will be the one to make those decisions on your behalf.
At Douglas & Collins, we will work with you to determine how an enduring guardianship or an advance care directive can benefit you and will discuss the inclusion of any specific requests in the appointment.
Estate administration can be an added burden at an already difficult time, especially after the recent loss of a loved one. Knowing the legal steps to take, while also dealing with the different needs of family members can be a challenge when most people have never acted as an executor before. The term executor is well known but most don’t understand what the role fully requires.Douglas & Collins have extensive experience advising executors and administrators of estates in relation to their legal obligations, and assisting them with the estate administration process to ensure legal obligations are complied with and the willmaker’s wishes are fulfilled.
If you have been made the executor of the Will, we can assist with making an application to the Supreme Court of Tasmania for a grant of probate, and where someone dies without a valid Will we can assist the family with making an application for letters of administration. We can also assist with obtaining re-seals of grants made in other states or overseas. We also routinely assist with dealing with banks, superannuation funds, government bodies, and other organisations to ensure that assets are located, obtained, and passed on to beneficiaries.
In a worst case scenario, should disagreements over the estate arise, Douglas & Collins can support one of the parties in a mediation role.
Most people don’t want to think about what happens after they pass away, but preparing well considered plans can be an appreciated gift to those you leave behind.
Make an appointment to discuss your current circumstances and future wishes.