Wills & Estates
What we do?
We want to provide the best, professional and stress-free Wills and Estates services and advice to you, in planning for your future and also your family’s future well-being, without the high-end price tag of a big city law firm.
Why do you need a Will?
A Will is an important part of your life’s plan. It is essential if you want to decide who is to inherit your hard-earned assets upon your death. If you don’t have a valid Will in place, the decision as to how your assets are distributed has already been made for you by the laws of the State. Is this a part of your life plan? The delay, stress and cost involved to your loved ones in having to apply to become Administrator of your estate can be considerable if you die ‘intestate’ (ie without a Will). There is no automatic ‘all to spouse’ provision under the intestacy laws of the State.
Generally, throughout our lives, we all put in place plans to take care of our:
insurance for home, contents, car, pets
insurance for trauma cover and TPD
Life insurance policies
BUT…..you should make sure that you aren’t missing the final link in all of this important planning…. your Will.
You have worked hard to build your wealth…who is to inherit this after you pass away? Your nephews and nieces? Having a Will in place is the only way of making sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Even if you have a modest estate, a Will is very important. Most people at least have personal belongings, furniture, a vehicle, superannuation, a bank account. Spending a small amount of money now having your Will drawn up, will save your family members so much more in the future. Also, a Will doesn’t need to be revised every year, unlike preparing a tax return and paying annual premiums and therefore you can have your Will in place for several years, and if drafted correctly, it may not need amending until such time as there are big changes in your life, such as being married, divorced, separated, birth of a child, major property purchase, inheritance etc.
Don’t leave it too late to make your Will. Accidents and illness can and do happen. Additionally, you must have mental capacity to provide clear instructions at the time of drafting your Will.
You may have just made the biggest purchase you will make in your life, you should now ensure you sign one of the most important documents in your life to protect that asset – your will
Choose how you want your assets shared in the event you pass away
You will prevent your family having to apply for letters of administration should you die without a will – stress, time, costly
Having a will is the only way to guarantee who will receive your assets
In this uncertain time of COVID, the unexpected can and does happen
Who will look after your children
Who will look after your pets
Set out your wishes for your funeral arrangements
Why do I need a law firm to draft my Will?
There are many laws that apply to the valid drafting of a Will. It is often not as straight forward as you might think. DIY Wills are not a good idea. It is the legal education and experience of a qualified lawyer that ensures that your Will is made in a logical and valid way. Sometimes there may be a legislative reason why a certain gift you wish to make in your Will, cannot be given, such as property, depending on whether it is held as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.
Failure to follow the laws when making a Will can lead to your Will being invalidated after your death and sometimes may even leave your estate and your loved ones in the same position as if you never had a Will at all. Failure to have knowledge of applicable legislation may lead to Wills being challenged or contested which will mean high legal costs and time delays for the distribution of your estate.
All too common, there are cases where a self-drafted Will has left instructions for funds to go to a bankrupt spouse/child causing the entire inheritance, or a major portion thereof to be used to satisfy outstanding debts whilst other family members receive nothing. Find out through proper legal advice how to avoid this situation occurring for your loved ones.
Guardianship of Children
If you have minor children (under 18), it is wise to appoint guardians for them in the event that both you and your spouse pass away. This will alleviate your family members or close friends potentially arguing over who should look after your children and potentially this decision being made by the courts. What about your pets, who will look after them?
Many of our clients have had more than one long term relationship in their lifetime and may have children from previous relationships as well. Speak to our legal team to find out what your obligations are to children of your previous relationships. This can be a particularly difficult situation for clients wishing to give everything to their new partner. Another strong reason to engage a professional to discuss your options.
Your Super cannot be gifted under your Will. Many people don’t realise that Super is completely separate to other assets promised under their Will. You need to make sure that where possible, you have a Binding Death Benefit Nomination in place, not just a nominated beneficiary. Seek our advice as to what you need to put in place to make sure that your Super is distributed according to your wishes.
What if I don't have a Will in place?
If you don’t have one in place your spouse or your family member will need to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to be appointed your administrator. This is time consuming, stressful and administering your estate can become costly to your family members.
If you pass away “Intestate” (without a Will), the State laws determine who receives your assets. If you have a partner, there is no automatic provision that everything goes to them. The law looks at who is dependent upon you first, including your children which can mean that your assets, including your family home are sold to distribute between your partner and your children. Other unfavourable scenarios can also ensue.
Do you need to make a provision in your will for a disabled child or a person with special needs to ensure that your wishes are carried through by your executor?
Do you wish to incorporate a testamentary trust in your will to protect assets and or provide a lasting income to beneficiaries over a period of time?
How we do it
We can meet with you to take your initial instructions by zoom, teams, facetime or in person.
We then draft your documents according to your instructions and email or post them to you for checking before arranging our second meeting. We prefer that you attend our office to sign your formal Will, or alternatively we can post the original documents to you for you to arrange for your Will to be correctly witnessed and then returned to us for safe keeping.
Why choose LadyBird Law?
At LadyBird Law our team are focused on helping you throughout the Life planning process. We’ll make sure you understand what you need to put in place now to ensure that you and your family members are protected in the event you lose mental capacity or pass away. Our team are dedicated to providing the very best in personal service to help take the stress out of your Life Planning.
When someone close to you passes away, it’s a difficult time. Our estate administration team will ensure that you are kept informed every step of the way. We explain everything to you in plain English, so you’ll understand exactly what’s happening and the process involved.
Estate Administration and Litigation
Making a Family Provision Claim
Contesting a will
Applying for letters of administration
Applying for Probate
What to do when someone close to you passes away
Timeframes apply to making claims so do not delay in contacting us
When someone close to you passes away, it’s a difficult time. Our team will ensure that you are kept informed every step of the way. We explain everything to you in plain English, so you’ll understand exactly what’s happening and the process involved.
What Happens Next?
Simply fill in the below contact form and a friendly member of the team will be in touch to provide further information and a quote if required. You also welcome to click the button below to speak direct to the team.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is provided as general information only. It is not intended to provide legal advice and therefore should not be relied upon.