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What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of organising and managing an individual’s assets to ensure they are distributed according to their wishes after their death. It often also includes the management of an individual’s financial and health affairs if they become incapacitated.

An estate plan can be made up of a variety of legal instruments and structures, ranging from a simple will to powers of attorney, trusts, advanced care directives and more.

The process is often facilitated by a legal professional who is experienced in estate law to ensure that all documents are legally valid and your estate plan is effective.

If you are looking to establish an estate plan, our lawyers are here to guide you on the best options for your specific situation.

Parts of An Estate Plan

An estate plan can be made up of one or more of the following aspects, depending on your specific requirements. Each of these legal tools comes with certain benefits for varying circumstances, and may or may not be necessary for your estate plan depending on your situation.

Wills

will is the primary document in any estate plan. It outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after your death and who is in charge of handling the distribution. It may also specify guardianship arrangements for any minor children, as well as other wishes you may have.

Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives another person the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated or are not present to do so yourself. A Power of Attorney can cover financial matters, personal or health decisions, depending on the type of Power of Attorney given.

Appointment of a Medical Treatment Decision Maker

A Medical Treatment Decision Maker (”MTDM”)appointment is a legal document (previously known as a Medical Power of Attorney) that allows you to appoint one or more Medical Treatment Decision Makers who can make medical decisions for you when it comes to decisions about your healthcare and medical treatments in the event that you become unable to make or communicate your decisions about your own medical treatment.

This might occur if you are seriously ill, injured or mentally incapacitated. You can also prepare an Advanced Health Care Directive that provides specific guidance to your doctors, family and carers about your medical treatment preferences, including the types of treatment you would like to receive, or refuse, under certain circumstances.

Testamentary Trust is a legal arrangement that is created by a provision in a person’s will that commences after they pass away. It provides a way to protect assets and manage the distribution of those assets to beneficiaries over time, rather than in a single, immediate distribution.

This type of trust can be particularly useful when beneficiaries are minors, financially inexperienced, or vulnerable in some way. It can also provide certain tax advantages, as income can be distributed in a tax-effective manner.

The trust is managed by a trustee who is responsible for administering the trust’s assets in accordance with the deceased’s wishes as expressed in the will.

Superannuation Binding Nominations

A Superannuation Binding Nomination is a legal instrument used to specify who will receive your superannuation benefits in the event of your death.

Unlike other assets, your superannuation does not automatically become part of your estate and therefore is not necessarily governed by your will.

Instead, the trustee of your superannuation fund decides who receives your benefits, unless you have a valid binding and non-lapsing nomination in place.

This nomination directs the trustee to distribute your superannuation benefits to specific dependents (like your spouse or children) or to your legal personal representative (who is responsible for administering your estate).

Life Insurance

Life insurance is a critical component of estate planning. A life insurance policy is essentially a contract with an insurance company that promises to provide a lump-sum payment (known as a death benefit) to the beneficiaries upon the insured’s death, in exchange for regular payments.

This death benefit can help provide financial stability and support to the beneficiaries, helping cover costs such as funeral expenses, debts, taxes, and ongoing living expenses.

The proceeds from a life insurance policy are usually not subject to the probate process, but they may still be subject to estate taxes. Therefore, it’s crucial to name beneficiaries on the policy correctly and update them as needed.

In some cases, setting up a life insurance trust can help to avoid potential estate tax implications.

Guardianship

If you have minor children or dependents, Guardianship is a vital aspect of estate planning.
In the unfortunate event of a parent’s death or incapacity, a guardian who is nominated in the parent’s will, assumes the responsibility for the care and well-being of the minor children or dependents.

This includes day-to-day care, health decisions, and often decisions regarding the child’s upbringing and education.

By nominating a guardian in your estate plan, you can ensure that your children are cared for by someone they trust and who shares your and their values.

If no guardian is named in an estate plan, the court will appoint one, which may not align with the parent’s or child’s wishes.

Charitable Giving

Charitable giving can play a significant role in estate planning, allowing individuals to leave a legacy that aligns with their personal values and passions.

A person can choose to bequeath a portion of their estate to a charity or charities of their choice in their will. This kind of planned giving can have meaningful impact on the chosen charities, providing them with vital funds to continue their work.

In addition, charitable donations made through a person’s estate plan may have potential tax benefits for the overall estate, as they can reduce the taxable value of the estate.

It’s essential to clearly specify the intended charities and the nature of the gifts in the estate plan to ensure that the individual’s wishes are carried out accurately.

How Our Solicitors Can Help You With Your Estate Plan

If the time has come for you to set about an estate plan, our lawyers are here to help you put together the best possible plan for your particular circumstances.

Experience & Understanding of Local Laws

Our team has extensive experience putting together estate plans for countless individuals and families in Victoria, helping them make personalised plans that are legally valid and stand up to being challenged.

Our understanding of local laws allows us to know where the common weak points are when it comes to estate plans, and mitigate any potential issues before they arise.

Personalized, Simplified Approach

We understand that estate planning can be a complex topic, and we are here to listen and understand your specific needs, explain the law in plain English, and put together a plan that works best for you.

Everyone’s situation is unique, so a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. We take the time to understand your specific circumstances, goals, and concerns and design an estate plan that suits your particular needs.

Long Term vision

Our goal is to create a long term relationship and be there for you as required, through updates in life circumstances such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces and changes in wealth, ensuring your estate plan is up to date and reflective of your current situation.

We are also here to anticipate issues, communicate regularly, and provide relevant advice as laws and personal circumstances change, so that your estate plan remains valid at all times.

Transparent Fees

Estate planning can sometimes be costly. Because we wish to maintain a relationship with all of our clients, we are always upfront with our fees so you know exactly what it’s going to cost and don’t get hit with any hidden charges.

Here to Defend Your Interests

And if any disputes arise, you can be confident knowing you have experts on your side who will fight for your interests and ensure your wishes are upheld.

Get Your Estate Plan Sorted Today!

If you are ready to begin creating your estate plan, or you wish to discuss any matter relating to estate planning, get in contact with our team today by clicking the button below:

Testimonials From Our Clients

Excellent
Based on 55 reviews
Antony Rickards
Antony Rickards
2023-12-14
Sandro & his team have been excellent to deal with, they are knowledgeable and efficient, always keeping me informed through the process. i highly receommend them
Titin Octavia
Titin Octavia
2023-12-04
Thank you, Cindy and Sandro Campus from Campus Lawyers. They both are very professional and always provide fast response, which eased my mind. I really appreciate when Cindy made herself available at the time I needed her and provided detailed explanation on all questions I had. They both made the whole process seamless. I will definitely use their service again in the future and will highly recommend them.
Tom Rovatsos
Tom Rovatsos
2023-12-03
Sandro and the team have made everything a breeze when it come to buying and selling houses . Have used campus multiple times and wouldn't use any one else . Thanks for all the efforts 🙏
Jess
Jess
2023-11-20
We had a really great experience going through Campus Lawyers firm for the purchase of our first property. Cindy gave detailed and helpful advice and Sandro helped to keep us fully informed and executed the settlement (and lead up to settlement) flawlessly, would highly recommend if you are seeking a good conveyancer with reasonable rates, great communication and professionalism!
Peter Boyes
Peter Boyes
2023-10-14
I am very happy with the service provided by Sandro and Cindy at Campus Lawyers. They assisted my daughter and I with the purchase of a house at Truganina. They were very prompt, efficient, professional, courteous, and provided support with conveyancing through to settlement. I thoroughly recommend Campus Lawyers for your legal requirements. Peter Boyes
Natasha Critsilis
Natasha Critsilis
2023-09-21
Big thanks to Sandro and Lana for helping us with settlement. The team were extremely organised and communicated all stages with me. They made everything so easy. Highly recommend and we hope to use their services again one day
Joanne Pearce
Joanne Pearce
2023-09-17
Campus Lawyers have completed work for us over the last two years including estate settlement, making a will and conveyancing. We have worked with several members of the a campus team. Throughout each process they have all been professional, approachable and empathetic. Communication is excellent and all question answered clearly. We will continue to use Campus Lawyers in the future.
DANIEL B
DANIEL B
2023-09-11
Campus Lawyers & Associates did amazing job with the conveyancing of my first Property I can’t thank Sandro enough he did an amazing job with the whole process and helped me with any questions I had I Highly Recommend.
Elisa Pistoni
Elisa Pistoni
2023-08-30
The staff at Campus Lawyers & Associates are incredibly welcoming and helpful. I mostly delt with Sandro, and he was very helpful, polite and professional. Explained all paperwork with clarity and patience, and always returned my calls. I would very highly recommend Campus Lawyers & Associates.
Michael O'Connor-Thursfield
Michael O'Connor-Thursfield
2023-07-06
Thank you to the team at Campus Lawyers Point Cook. I was supported by Lana and Sandro to purchase my first home. Lana was prompt, professional and always advocated for my needs as a client. The communication was prompt, advice was clear and follow up through to settlement was exceptional. Thanks to the team! Highly recommended

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