Wills & Estate Planning

What is estate planning and why is it important?

Estate planning is the process of making plans (and formalising them) about what happens to you (your care and wellbeing) and your estate, in the event you become incapacitated or die.

When we talk about ‘your estate’, we mean everything you own; for example, real estate, vehicles, money in your bank account, furniture, investments, shares, life insurance and even personal possessions like jewellery or artwork.

It is important to make decisions yourself about what will happen to your assets when you die or who will manage your financial and care decisions if you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions yourself.

At E&A Lawyers, our estate planning advice and assistance takes a holistic approach. We ensure you’re aware of all the processes and options available to you to give you peace of mind for the future.

Our key components of estate planning

Your Will

A Will is a legal document which clearly sets out your wishes about the distribution of your assets if you die and, where you have children under the age of 18, who you wish to appoint as their guardians. Every adult should have a Will. Even though legislation exists in case you do not have a Will, the result is highly unlikely to be what you would have wanted and could be unsatisfactory and inappropriate to those left behind.


Testamentary Trusts

A Testamentary Trust is a trust created in your Will, which only comes into existence upon your death. Given the complexities of taxation laws, family law disputes and creditor claims and given that many of us now have two significant assets, being the family home and superannuation (including life insurance), often a simple Will is not enough to protect your family.


Enduring Power of Attorney

Your Will determines what happens after you have died. Your Enduring Power of Attorney provides for you during your lifetime by allowing someone you trust to make decisions as to your legal and financial affairs should you be unable to do that yourself. A further document called an Appointment of Enduring Guardian which can include Advance Care Directives, allows someone to make decisions as to your care, well-being and living arrangements if you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for yourself.


Advance Care Directive / Appointment of Enduring Guardian

Your guardian is someone you nominate through an Appointment of Enduring Guardian to make decisions about your health care and well-being if you are unable to do so. You can also specifically direct your guardian as to how you wish to be treated by way of an Advance Care Directive (ACD).


Contesting a Will

There are generally three areas in which you can contest or challenge a Will.

  • There may be an argument that the Will maker did not have capacity to understand what they were doing when the Will was made.
  • There may be a suggestion that the Will maker was unduly influenced in making the Will.
  • There may be a claim that the Will maker did not adequately provide for you, or did not provide for you at all, as a beneficiary.

Each of these claims will depend on all of the circumstances and the evidence that can be used to support the claim. We can provide you with advice as to whether you have a viable claim.


Probate (Managing a deceased estate)

If you are the Executor of a Will, you need to carry out the intentions of the deceased person according to their Will.

In most cases, you need to obtain a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court. This is, principally, a "licence" to you, as Executor, to deal with the assets in the estate.


Save time & money with our online tools

When you meet with our expert lawyers they'll be ready to provide advice.

Start your Will online today

The simple way to get a Will: get peace of mind with a solicitor-drafted Will and other important documents. Ensure your loved ones are provided for, and have your Will prepared quickly and easily as possible.

Begin Your Estate Planning

Deceased Estates online

Learn about the key steps and timelines for dealing with a Deceased Estate including your role and obligations as executor, applying for a Grant of Probate, what to do if there is no Will and how we can help you.

Begin the Probate Process

Blogs - Wills & Estate Planning

How to leave a gift to a charity in your Will

How to leave a gift to a charity in your Will

Deciding to make a gift to a charity in your Will is a commendable act. But there does need to be some consideration as to what you wish to achieve by the gift. You also need to be mindful of the potential for a family provision claim against your estate.
Read more
How do I gift my digital assets in my Will?

How do I gift my digital assets in my Will?

There is no legislation at the moment in Australia which addresses the change of ownership of digital assets after death. But, given the prevalence of digital assets, it is increasingly likely that legislation will be put into place in the future.
Read more
What can be done if the original Will is missing or lost?

What can be done if the original Will is missing or lost?

We have recently received a number of queries where the original Will of the deceased is missing or lost. It may be that a copy of the Will has been found but not the original document. The question then is what to do and whether a Grant of Probate can still be made where only a copy of the Will is located.
Read more
Can I stop my children receiving inheritance at 18?

Can I stop my children receiving inheritance at 18?

This blog looks at two options for delaying the age at which your children receive a share of your estate. The first is to “take a risk’ and second is to create a Discretionary Trust.
Read more