Adelaide Lawyers - Wills & Estate Planning

Best Estate planning lawyers in Adelaide Making a Will is important but good estate planning is vital. We don’t do one without the other. We will find the best structure to accommodate your wishes and protect your assets. We will give you a fixed price. Read our Client Reviews and then call us to talk with an experienced Adelaide wills lawyer about your matter on a no obligation basis. We will be pleased to answer your questions.

How Long Will It Take and How Much Does It Cost?

We are happy to talk with you on a no obligation basis and to quote you a fixed fee relevant to your situation.   Our fee will not change irrespective of how long it takes to answer your questions and take your instructions.

It normally takes about 1 – 1.5 hours to take instructions for basic Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directives.  If it is difficult for you to see us during work hours we can accommodate late appointments.  Once we prepare your documents we will need to see you again for about 45 minutes to go through the documents, sign and copy them.  We will give you the original documents and copies and we keep certified copies on file as well.

The cost of a Will for couples is from $550 each inc GST ($770 inc GST for singles) and an Enduring Power of Attorney or Advance Care Directive is from $275 each inc GST ($385 inc GST for singles).  We strongly recommend all 3 documents (a Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive) – the total cost is reduced to from $880 each inc GST for couples ($1,100 inc GST for singles).

If you are the trustee or appointor of a family discretionary trust we charge from $275 inc GST to review each trust deed.

Start With A Good Estate Plan

If you need to make a Will (or update an existing one) we can tailor an “estate plan” solution for your circumstances and make the process straight forward and easy to understand.  It is most cost effective to give instructions for all documentation that you require which may include:

Matters That Require Consideration

Good estate planning gives consideration to all aspects of a person’s financial and ownership position and their wishes for their retirement and the next generation. It will take account of:

  • Assets and the form of ownership;
  • Liabilities;
  • Insurances;
  • Superannuation;
  • Family trust control;
  • Taxation considerations;
  • Relevant relationships; and
  • Cost of ownership changes to accommodate the plan

and will ensure that a Will maker considers the benefits of testamentary trusts in their Will and appointing attorneys and substitute decision-makers via Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directives.

Estate planning that requires a change in ownership of assets may end up costing a small fortune in stamp duty, registration fees, capital gains tax and conveyancing costs. The cost to benefit ratio of such changes may be worthwhile in certain situations but obviously must be considered carefully.

Can I use my Will to appoint a guardian of my infant children?

Yes we encourage our clients to do exactly that. Find out more

Last Will and Testament

Making a Will is something many people avoid however sooner or later it is something to which we should all attend.  Having your affairs in order will lessen the legal and financial burden on your family at what is a difficult time.

By making a Will you can dispose of your assets in the way you choose.  If you made a Will some time ago it is equally important to ensure that it satisfies your current circumstances and the present taxation laws in order to avoid potential Will disputes.  A properly drafted Will can minimise the tax burden on your estate.  We recommend that all our clients should consider the asset protection and potential significant tax saving benefits of one or more testamentary trusts in their Will.

A “home made” Will may well suffice and be inexpensive initially but can, if ambiguous or incorrectly prepared, result in Will disputes and legal costs that greatly exceed any initial saving.

If you die without a Will the administration of your estate can be significantly more expensive and complex and may not be as you would choose.  You may also lose the opportunity to appoint a guardian(s) of your infant children.

Family Discretionary Trusts

If you are a trustee of a family trust, a director of a trustee company or an appointor of a family trust, it is vital that you consider handing control of that trust to the beneficiaries of your Will.  Unless the trust deed is reviewed and control of the trust is appropriately dealt with in either a separate deed or in your Will, it is possible that adverse and unintended outcomes may ensue.  Trust assets cannot be dealt with directly in a Will (whilst you may control the trust you do not own the assets and so you cannot gift them in your Will).  It is important therefore to deal with control of family trusts as part of a good estate plan.  We charge $190 plus GST to review each trust deed as part of preparing your Wills and other documents.

Testamentary Trusts

A testamentary trust is a trust that is created in a Will (or Testament).  It is an excellent vehicle to protect assets and can provide significant potential tax benefits to the beneficiaries.

A testamentary trust can be very simple or extremely complicated.  From an asset protection and tax saving perspective the most valuable testamentary trust is a discretionary trust that provides for several generations.

Traditionally testamentary trusts are often only recommended for high net worth individuals.  We believe that all our clients like the idea of saving tax and protecting their assets.  Testamentary trusts are an excellent estate planning tool that should be considered for all clients making a Will irrespective of their financial position.  If you are interested to know more about Testamentary Trusts please contact  Emma Marinucci or Michelle Crichton, on 8362 6400 to discuss on a no obligation basis or Read More …

Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document by which you appoint a person or persons (“Attorney”) to act on your behalf, during your lifetime, in relation to your legal and financial affairs (but not your personal or lifestyle decisions).

The Attorney may be given restricted powers (e.g. operating a bank account or purchasing land, under conditions selected by you) or unrestricted powers, to do things on your behalf, simply as a matter of convenience.  The Attorney is legally obliged to act in good faith and in your best interests.

In the event that you become mentally incapacitated and you have not appointed an Attorney, the Public Trustee will probably be appointed to manage your affairs.  Consequently, the Public Trustee may, in effect, become a co-owner of the family home and other family assets.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a form of “insurance” which can help overcome serious legal and practical problems.

Advance Care Directives

The Advance Care Directives Act (2013) (SA) allows you to appoint another person or persons (“Substitute Decision-Maker”) to make personal and lifestyle decisions on your behalf in the event you become mentally incapacitated  (e.g. care and management in medical matters, choice of doctor and consent or refusal of medical procedures).  The Substitute Decision-Maker cannot make financial decisions on your behalf.

The Substitute Decision-Maker can only act on your behalf if you become mentally incapacitated and must always protect your interests.

In the event that you become mentally incapacitated and you have not appointed a Substitute Decision-Maker, a guardian may be appointed by the Guardianship Board.  Appointing a Substitute Decision-Maker prior to suffering mental incapacity means that you decide for yourself who is to be your Substitute Decision-Maker and that you can say in advance how that person is to make decisions on your behalf.

An Advance Care Directive allows you to exercise some control in a situation where one normally loses that ability. Doing so can also help to prevent potential Will disputes at the time of probate. We recommend that our clients consider the advantages of protecting their personal interests with this document.

We are lucky to have onboard some of the finest solicitors Adelaide has available. Read our Client Reviews and then talk to one of our experienced wills and estates lawyers about your estate planning requirements on a no obligation basis.

Key People for Wills & Estate Planning

  • Emma Marinucci

    Emma Marinucci

    Emma specialises in wills and deceased matters including disputed wills, contested estates and inheritance claims.

    Emma is a compassionate and skilled lawyer dedicated to her clients. Emma’s sole focus is to ensure that her clients receive the very best outcome possible.

    Call Emma on 8362 6400 or .

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  • Michelle Crichton

    Michelle Crichton

    Michelle is a specialist lawyer in wills and estates, divorce and injury matters. She has a strong track record in achieving excellent results.

    Michelle's legal knowledge is excellent and she has a strong commitment to client service. She is fiercely protective of her client’s rights and works hard to ensure her clients receive the best outcome.

    Call Michelle on 8362 6400 or .

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  • Anne Waddell-Smith

    Anne Waddell-Smith

    Anne is an experienced and well respected Adelaide lawyer who practices exclusively in the areas of Family & Divorce Law, Wills & Estates, Probate and Inheritance Claims.

    Call Anne on 8362 6400 or .

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