Wills, Estates & Family Trusts
These trusts are a way to protect your assets for the future and the future of your children. A family trust provides the following protection:
- provide protection from creditors;
- offer tax savings by distributing income in different ways between beneficiaries;
- protect you from asset testing for residential care (rest home) subsidies and other welfare benefits, although gifts can be “clawed back” and careful advice is needed;
- provide protection from capital gains or death taxes, should they be reintroduced;
- protect your estate from claims when you die, and give you some control over what happens to your assets after you die
- provide protection against relationship property claims; and
- enable you to maintain confidentiality about your financial affairs
Enduring Powers of Attorney
You can appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf by doing an enduring power of attorney (EPA). Personal care and welfare EPAs authorise your attorney to make legal decisions about your personal care if you lose mental capacity. Property EPAs authorise your attorney(s) to act on your behalf about your property. You can decide whether a property EPA has general effect (e.g. if you are going overseas and want someone to manage your affairs while you are away) or has effect only if you become mentally incapable. EPAs make it easier for your family to help you if you become mentally incapable. If you don’t have EPAs and lose mental capacity (e.g. after having a stroke or suffering a head injury), your family may have to make an application to the Family Court for decisions to be made about your treatment, living arrangements, and property. These applications (made under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 or PPPR Act) can be time consuming and stressful, and EPAs are usually a better option.
We are able to discuss with you your particular family situation and help to prepare and finalise the documents for you.
A properly executed will enables the easy division of your assets when you die. We can give you advice about what the law requires you to consider in respect of your dependents, family and significant others and draft a will for you.
The Adoption Act 1955 provides a process to establish a permanent legally binding relationship between adopting parents and a child. We are able to advise you on the following:
- Approval as a potential adoptive parent through CYFS
- The preparation and processing of consent documents for the birth parents to sign
- Placement certificate
- Filing an application to adopt
- Court processes