When it comes to a will, one size doesn’t fit all

A will is one of the most important documents that you will make not just for your but for your family and loved ones also. 

Although it may seem attractive to pick up a simple do-it-yourself will kit it is extremely rare that such ‘one-size-fits-all’ documents are adequate to administer a person’s estate.  

If you are part of a blended family and do not invest time in making an appropriate estate plan, disputes can arise between former and current partners and children after you are gone. It is not difficult to think of think of well-known estate battles - Rose Porteous and Gina Rinehart following the death of Lang Hancock or Peter Brook's fiancée and his former partner and children for example. 

However, it is not just blended families and the wealthy who should make a will. Parents with vulnerable children have unique challenges to deal with in their estate plan. Planning must not only protect minor children, disabled beneficiaries or those with special needs but also balance the needs of non-vulnerable children, adult children and any surviving spouse. 

What we can do

We can assist in offering practical solutions tailored to your personal circumstances such as:

  • testamentary life interests or rights of occupation;
  • segregating superannuation between a surviving spouse and children of a former marriage;
  • setting up a:
    • special disability trust or protective trust
    • superannuation death benefits trust or pension.
  • provision for beneficiaries with special circumstances (e.g. minor children, those with a disability or in high risk occupations, those that have creditors risks or family law risks or cannot manage money)
  • Appointment of guardians for children under the age of 18 years
  • Appointment of executors and trustees
  • Alternate distributions in the event of a catastrophe
  • Asset structure including any joint assets, existing trusts, corporate structures and superannuation
  • segmenting capital
  • Restrictions on access to or distributions of income or capital 
  • Discretions are the fuel of family disputes – what to do about the family trust?
  • Addressing the problem of control: meaningful decision making while avoiding the power of one
  • advise about potential family provision claims
  • Provision for the lineal line
  • Rights of beneficiaries and interest holders
  • Obligations of trustees