We provide legal services for family law work including:
Any person considering setting up a Trust should seek specialist legal advice.
A properly established family trust can achieve a number of purposes including:
- Protecting the long term interests of yourself, your spouse and your children;
- Removing assets from the scope of family protection or testamentary promise actions after your death;
- Protecting your assets against claims by future creditors;
- Protecting your assets against relationship property claims including interests of your children against claims by their partner or spouse.
A Trust is a separate entity and is established by a Trust Deed. It is important to appoint effective trustees from the start as the trustees control the assets of the trust and usually determine which beneficiaries benefit from the trust.
The beneficiaries can be whomever you wish and may include yourself, your spouse, your children and your grandchildren and such other people or organisations as you choose.
We will work with your accountant to ensure that you set up your Trust to best serve your requirements.
As mentioned above the appointment of trustees is an important decision and the obligations of a trustee to carry out their duties is a highly responsible position.
The law imposes a number of duties on a trustee when they are carrying out their role to ensure that they are working almost exclusively for the benefit of the beneficiaries. A trustee must take an ongoing interest in the Trust affairs and be more than a rubber stamper of decisions. Therefore, it is important that the trustees of the Trust ensure that the ongoing management of the Trust is carried out seriously and in accordance with the law. We can assist you with this.
Enduring Powers of Attorney
There are two types of enduring powers of attorney:
1. Personal care and welfare
Appoints one person as your attorney to make decisions about your personal care and welfare on your behalf if you lose mental capacity. These decisions might include agreement to medical treatment or admission to residential care or the choice of a residential home. You can only appoint one person to be your attorney but you can appoint one or more successor attorneys to act if the authority of the previous attorney lapses.
A property enduring power of attorney appoints an attorney (or attorneys) to manage and make decisions about your property. This might include how to invest your assets, what to spend your money on, and decisions about your house. If you wish you can give your attorney authority to manage your property affairs while you still have capacity (for example if you go overseas) and to continue to act if you become mentally incapable.
You should think carefully about who you want as your attorney and how you would want them to manage your affairs. If you become mentally incapable it will be to your advantage, as well as that of the person who has to look after your affairs, to have that person properly designated as your attorney.
Wills and Estate Administration
It is important to have a Will to ensure your property is left to whom you want. If you die without a Will you die "intestate" and your property will be administered according to the rules of intestacy. We can assist you to ensure that you have an up to date Will. Important events, for example, Marriage (or dissolution of marriage) will impact on your existing Will. Please contact us about the cost of a Will as it is probably less than you expect.
Estate Administration for Executors and Trustees can be a complex area and as an Executor and Trustee there are many obligations. We can assist you with these aswell.