It is very important to have a succession plan in place that makes the transition easy not only for yourself but also for your family or employees and minimises the chances of the business or farm having to be sold up when you leave. Estate planning goes beyond drafting a will.
Whilst Will drafting is always a very careful and delicate exercise amid a number of relevant rules, laws and legal principles that can have a significant bearing on a persons testamentary intentions and wishes (i.e. estate claims and family provision applications), it is also a very personal exercise for which a Lawyer must take specific personalised instructions from a testator in order for that person to be able to fulfil his or her wishes upon their death.
The word “testamentary” simply means upon death.
There are two general types of Wills that people may look to implement these include either a simple Will or an advanced Will. More advanced Wills are commonly known as a testamentary trusts.
In most situations a simple Will is all that is required to effectively transmit and secure for a testator’s beneficiaries the testator’s assets which may take many forms i.e. real property, banks accounts, investments, financial resources, shares, cash, superannuation or personal items and effects.
A Testamentary Trust is a more extensive Will which often incorporates a number of schedules and Annexures which can effectively enable a number of decisions in relation to the administration of the estate to be made over a long period of time, if required, after a person has become deceased.
Effectively a well drafted Testamentary Trust can provide a mechanism under which assets comprised in the estate can be held and preserved over a lengthy period if required to provide substantial protection to beneficiaries against competing claims or actions of many kinds that could later be initiated against the beneficiaries. Examples of future claims against beneficiaries might include claims made by creditors or the trustee in bankruptcy or perhaps a personal debt or family law debt.
You should speak to your Lawyer and obtain your own tailored advice in relation to your Will, Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian as well as other aspects of your estate planning so as to best reflect your personal wishes in your own specific and unique circumstances.
To find out more or to arrange an appointment get in touch with Curtis Gant Betts