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If I die - how will will work?

Discussion in 'Estate Planning' started by Punter, 6th Sep, 2008.

  1. Punter

    Punter Punter

    Joined:
    29th Jun, 2006
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Perth
    Hi

    Now that I have made some money and have some IPs, "will" is my next concern. I woke up last week when I heard about a classmate of mine who got killed in a car accident.

    I have been thinking about will for the last five years and did some research. I find that the cheapest form of will is a form I bought in a news agency. Just fill in, and get two witnesses to sing .. thats all. When I went to my friend to obtain his signature as witness he said I must go to Public Trust for will.

    This public trust which does not charge anything to make a will but charges a lot when I die. Their form is rather exhaustive asking too many questions which made me lazy. I have recently migrated to Australia and still have some interest overseas thus it will require some exhaustive work to list every asset I own.

    Then I came here on forum to look for some help and find that there are specialist lawyers for will! Dont know how to find a good one, how much will one charge and how to make sure that the will gets executed as per my wish.

    Looks like even dying is not going to be easy.

    Any help?

    Rgds
     
  2. Mark Laszczuk

    Mark Laszczuk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16th Aug, 2005
    Posts:
    793
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hahahaha, that made me laugh. As with anything to do with nvesting, it's best to start with the end in mind. What do you want to happen to your assets when you die? Do you:

    - Want everything sold and the capital given to beneficiaries?
    - Held in trust for beneficiaries to draw an income from?
    - Sold and the money put in a huge pile and set on fire?

    Ultimately what you want is going to determine how to set yourself up. That is something you will need to speak to a solicitor about. There are lots of issues that you need to think about in order to ensure your will is drawn up such that your assets are treated in the way you want them to be. I strongly suggest you speak to a solicitor about getting a will set up - one that specialises in estate planning.

    DO NOT skimp on this bit (unless your view on it is 'Ah, I don't care, I'll be dead'). Make sure you go to someone good who you are confident will help you set something up that will ensure that your wishes are adhered to as closely as possible. Wills get attacked all the time and a poorly prepared will can be the cause of a lot of heartache. I'm sure NigelW will be able to shed more light on this one.

    I'm getting a testamentary trust and enduring power of attorney set up at the moment and it's costing me a pretty penny, let me tell you! But I'm confident that it's all going to be as air tight as possible and that what I want done will be what gets done. It's all worth it mate, especially as your estate grows over time. A few grand (if that's how much it ends up costing) can potentially save your beneficiaries many times that after you cark it.

    Mark
     
  3. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    9th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    4,623
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Cost me just over $2500 to get wills, power of attorney, testamentary trusts and the like set up last year. Unfortunately it is not tax deductible :(

    Your mileage when it comes to costs may vary depending on your circumstances - being young and single makes it a lot cheaper usually - just make sure you get it updated as soon as your circumstances change, otherwise it will make things very difficult for those you leave behind.
     
  4. Punter

    Punter Punter

    Joined:
    29th Jun, 2006
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Perth
    As usual nothing is free and you get what you pay for (if you are not cheated.)

    OK, how to find a good solicitor one Perth for drafting a will?

    Rgds

    Punter
     
  5. Thudd

    Thudd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5th May, 2008
    Posts:
    49
    Location:
    Perth, W.A.
    Another thing that's worth doing is pre-planning your funeral, including such things as going in and choosing a coffin (if that's how you want to be dealt with), and so on. Very morbid and not much fun for you, but it might save your loved ones a ton of trouble.

    Many years ago my wife's grandfather died, and she was the only one living close to him and in a position to make arrangements. So with his body still warm and her still grieving she had to go and pick out coffins, handles, all that kind of stuff. Not the sort of thing you want to be concerned with in the days after a family member has died.
     
  6. Saskatoon

    Saskatoon Well-Known Member

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    17th Oct, 2005
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    Location:
    Aldgate, SA
  7. Hillview

    Hillview Member

    Joined:
    1st Nov, 2010
    Posts:
    9
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Wills

    Ounter - see a lawyer, and a good lawyer. My pop drafted his own and created big problems within the family having to deal with it, and one very sorry executor that had to deal with conflicting arguments. Yes it costs but is will worth defining it now. And also get a lawyer that is in the know and deals with estates commonly.
     
  8. Terryw

    Terryw Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9th Jun, 2006
    Posts:
    653
    Location:
    Sydney
    My friend died last week from cancer (skin cancer - get your moles checked!).

    He had a will drawn up by his solicitor and it is absolutely terrible. It is full of holes and no consideration given to the practicalities.

    Two elderly executors have been nominated, with no backup unless the nominated executors are dead. Neither executor wants to act now. So the family has to find someone else willing and capable and apply to the supreme court to appoint them as executor/administrator.

    He left money on trust to his two children for the next 16 years. The 2 nominated executors are also trustees and they must hold this money for the next 16 years. One executor must be around 80 years old. No back up trustee is listed!

    No consideration is given to the tax benefits of a testamentary trust. The trustees must hold the cash in term deposit and cannot distribute it. So the trustees must do tax returns and pay tax on this money for 16 years.

    Shares in a company which is being sued are gifted to his elderly parents on know nothing about business and are on the pension. The company has no assets so I don't know why he did this. They could have problems with their pension now, if they accept the shares. Centrelink would probably want to see the tax returns for the company they would now control and they could possibly lose their pension.

    He has also inadequately provided for his wife. So she could, and should, make a claim under family provision for more. He left her around 2% of what he thinks he was worth. Only recently married though - she did nurse him for the past year.

    He also took out a family member from his will in the last week before he died. He was providing support for this person and so they could probably make a claim as well.

    He has also made no provision for support of a kid for living expenses (ex-wife) so the kid, via his mum, could make a claim.

    He had several cars, and no one knows who owns what - him or the company. He has only made provision for one car under the will and no rego listed. This makes it hard for family to try and find out, more stress for them.

    I tried to tell him about the benefits of testamentary trusts when he was well, but he couldn't understand them and dismissed them offhand. I also told him to try to get his paper work in order and to make a list of things such as loan accounts and credit cards. But he refused to do so, thinking he was going to get better. It was like if he prepared for this too much he was giving into death. He was still saying he may get better up to 1 week before he died.

    So let this be a lesson. Many solicitors don't know much and some lack common sense. Don't try to do it on your own either, use a solicitor, a good one to do your will, and set up a testamentary trust. Make sure you cover all angles and make a list of all assets and liabilities - as detailed as you can, and make sure family know where to find this list. And, consider life insurance.