Estate Planning

Things to think about before your wills appointment

When we meet we will talk about your wishes and your particular circumstances and help you to create a will that suits those conditions.  Before we meet, it will be useful for you to consider the following issues:

  1. Guardian of minor children.
    • This is often the most difficult choice to make – if you were to die while your children are young, who would you like to look after them?
    • Bearing in mind that this scenario would often only arise after a catastrophic event, you might like to consider grandparents, aunts or uncles or a trusted family friend.
  2. Executors of your will
    • Administering a deceased estate can be complex and emotional.
    • We recommend appointing executors who are reasonably competent with administration and who you trust to fulfil your wishes.
    • We also recommend considering substitute executors if the first people nominated are not able to act.
  3. Assets and Liabilities
    • Your will essentially sets out what you would like to happen to your assets and liabilities when you die.
    • We therefore need to have a clear picture of what those assets and liabilities are, and importantly, how they are held eg. family trusts, companies, partnerships, joint tenancies etc.
    • Some of the more common items to consider are –
      • Your house and any other land that (or entity that you control) you might own;
      • Any mortgages held over land;
      • Motor vehicles including caravans and boats;
      • Bank accounts and how they are held;
      • Insurances, including life and funeral;
      • Shares and other investments; and
      • Debts – owed by you or to you.
  1. Specific Items
    • You may have specific gifts that you would like to give to particular people eg. engagement rings or particular tools.
  2. Superannuation
    • Superannuation generally does not automatically form part of your estate.
    • We ask that you bring in your latest annual super statements so that we can discuss the best way to direct your super and any death benefit entitlements.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, but should give you a starting point when thinking about what should be included in your will.  When we meet, we will talk about your individual circumstances and tailor your will to your needs.

Kate McShane – Solicitor

(08) 8231 6100


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