Estate Planning

Estate planning involves taking proactive, strategic steps to organise your assets and personal matters both during your lifetime and after your passing. By crafting a comprehensive estate plan, you can ensure the smooth transfer of your assets, protect your loved ones, and leave a lasting legacy.

At Goldsmiths Lawyers, our team of professionals are experts at helping you navigate the complex legal landscape of everything regarding estate planning with the utmost sensitivity and attention to detail – from crafting a Will to organising deceased estates.

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is a thorough process that involves making important choices about how your assets and affairs will be managed and distributed during your lifetime and after you pass away. It encompasses a range of legal and financial strategies aimed at protecting your assets, ensuring your wishes are carried out, and providing for your loved ones. One of the key components of estate planning is the creation of a Will.

When creating a Will and engaging in estate planning within Victoria, there are important steps and considerations that are a part of the process, such as:
  • Determining asset distribution
  • Appointing an executor
  • Protecting minor children
  • Establishing trusts
  • Minimising taxes and expenses
  • Planning for incapacity
The expertise of an experienced estate planning lawyer familiar with Victoria-specific jurisdiction can greatly assist in navigating the intricacies of the process, ensuring your estate plan is tailored to your circumstances and complies with the relevant legal requirements.

Why Do I Need Estate Planning?

Estate planning is of the utmost importance when creating a Will, as it offers numerous benefits and safeguards for you, your family, and your assets. Here's why estate planning is crucial:

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Protecting Your Assets

Estate planning allows you to protect your hard-earned assets and ensure they are distributed according to your wishes. By clearly outlining your intentions in a legally valid Will, you can minimise the risk of disputes among family members and potential challenges to your estate, safeguarding your assets for your intended beneficiaries.

Providing for Your Loved Ones

Estate planning enables you to provide for your loved ones even when you are no longer around. By creating a comprehensive estate plan, you can designate specific assets or amounts to individuals, and ensure the financial security of your spouse, children, or other dependents.

Avoiding Intestacy Laws

Without a valid Will and estate plan, your estate may be subject to intestacy laws, which determine how assets are distributed in the absence of a Will. Intestacy laws may not align with your wishes and could result in assets being distributed differently than you would have intended. Estate planning, however, allows you to have control over who receives your assets.

Minimising Family Conflict

Estate planning can help reduce family conflicts and legal battles that may arise after your passing. By clearly stating your intentions in a legally binding document, you provide a roadmap that reduces ambiguity and uncertainty.

Tax Efficiency

Effective estate planning allows you to minimise tax liabilities on your estate. By utilising various strategies such as lifetime gifting, establishing trusts, or taking advantage of tax exemptions and deductions, you can maximise the value of assets passed on to your beneficiaries, while minimising estate and gift taxes.

Planning for Incapacity

Estate planning involves more than just the distribution of assets after death; it also addresses planning for potential incapacity during your lifetime. Through documents such as a power of attorney and  and appointment of medical treatment decision makers you can appoint someone trusted to make financial, lifestyle and medical decisions on your behalf  which especially assists in circumstances where you may lose decision making capacity.

Who Needs to Do Estate Planning?

Contrary to a common misconception, estate planning is not solely reserved for individuals with substantial wealth. In fact, the benefits of estate planning extend to a wide range of individuals, regardless of their financial status or familial situation. Many individuals with varying circumstances could benefit from estate planning. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Parents with minor children
  • Blended families
  • Business owners
  • Individuals with specific healthcare preferences
  • Individuals with assets
  • High-net-worth individuals
  • Individuals seeking privacy and confidentiality
  • Individuals with charitable intentions
Whether you possess significant assets or simply have specific wishes regarding your healthcare or charitable endeavours, estate planning can bring you a sense of control and peace of mind.

The Process of Estate Planning

The process of estate planning encompasses the thoughtful consideration of goals, protection of loved ones, and adherence to legal requirements specific to the state in which you reside. This process generally includes the following steps:

  1. Assessing your assets and goals
  2. Creating a Will (see our page on our process for Creating a Will)
  3. Addressing guardianship and children
  4. Establishing trusts
  5. Powers of attorney and medical treatment decision makers
  6. Minimising taxes and expenses

Engaging the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer is crucial due to the unique legal requirements and complexities of the process. At Goldsmiths Lawyers, our team can provide expert guidance tailored to the specific laws and regulations in Victoria, ensuring that your estate plan is legally sound and compliant. Our client-centric approach allows us to help you navigate potential pitfalls, provide insights into implications, and offer peace of mind with the knowledge that we have your best interests at heart.  

For more information on estate planning, enquire with us today.

Our Wills & Estates Team

We care about you.
We care about your business.

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Get in Touch

Goldsmiths Lawyers is conveniently located close to Melbourne's Court precinct at:
52-54 Rosslyn Street,
West Melbourne VIC 3003