If you are wondering about how to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of when you die, then you must consider whether your will is up to date and what to do about your Estate Planning. Would you agree that planning for a future beyond your lifespan can be a daunting prospect? Ensuring that your will is current and that your Estate Planning reflects your intentions is crucial to the process of mapping out what will best protect your assets and what measures you must put in place to guarantee your family’s secure future. If you understand the importance of creating a valid will and you actively engage in proactive estate planning, you can leave a lasting legacy for your family and loved ones and ensure that your final wishes are respected – and carried out.

This introductory guide explores some key aspects of wills and Estate Planning in Australia, including the legal requirements for drafting a valid will, the importance of appointing an executor, and the various Estate Planning strategies available to you. This article also addresses the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the estate administration process and highlights the importance of seeking professional legal advice to help you to navigate the complexities of wills and Estate Planning.

If you are aware of the legal process and you understand the critical steps involved in drafting your new will and Estate Planning, you can create a tailored plan that addresses your specific circumstances and addresses your needs. With expert legal guidance, you can ensure that your estate planning process aligns with your aims, protects your assets, and supports your intentions for your family’s future.

Wills and Estate Planning may be a vital choice for you and your family. Your clarity around what you want to occur when you pass, from making gifts to your beneficiaries to your specificity around your burial wishes, constitute acts of generosity. When you express your wishes clearly, those you leave behind know what you want and can follow your intentions at a time when they will likely be grieving for you. By taking a proactive approach, you can achieve peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be cared for and your legacy may be preserved as you would have it be for generations to come.

What are key components of Wills and Estate Planning you must know?

1. Your Current, Valid Will

If you want to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, then creating a legally valid will is a critical step for you to take.

In Queensland, Australia, for your will to be legally enforceable, the Succession Act 1981 (QLD) (the Succession Act) stipulates that wills must meet the following requirements:

  • The testator (the person making the will) must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The will should be in writing, either handwritten or typed.
  • The testator must be of sound mind and understand the nature and effect of their will.
  • The will must be signed and dated by the testator in the presence of two independent witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the will.

By ensuring that your will complies with these legal requirements, you can help to avoid potential disputes and complications in the estate administration process.  If these formalities are not met, then your will may not be valid. If you do not have a valid will when you die, then your estate will be dealt with as an intestate estate. However, under section 18 of the Succession Act, a court has discretion to declare any document or part of a document to be a valid will, an alteration of a will or a revocation of a will, if the court is satisfied that the testator intended the document to form the person’s will.

2. Appointing Your Executor(s)

The executor(s) of your will is/are responsible for managing the administration of your estate, including paying off debts, distributing assets to beneficiaries, and finalising tax obligations. Think carefully about who you choose to be your executor(s). To make sure that your estate is managed efficiently and in accordance with your wishes, it is wise to selecting trustworthy and responsible executor(s).

Ideally, you should consider a second executor to act if your first choice of executor is unable or unwilling to act. You can have more than one executor to act for you jointly, as well as a back-up executor. Executors are often close family members or friends, although it is also possible to appoint a professional executor, such as an accountant, solicitor, or trustee company.

Your executor must be over the age of 18 years. It is most important that the person or people you choose have the knowledge and skills to do whatever needs to be done to manage the administration of your estate.

3. Estate Planning Strategies

As well as drafting your valid will, proactive estate planning involves considering strategies that address your unique circumstances and protect your assets.

Some common estate planning strategies include:

  • Establishing Trusts: A trust can be used to manage and protect your assets for the benefit of specific beneficiaries or specific purposes, such as education or health care expenses.
  • Joint Asset Ownership: When assets are owned jointly, they typically pass directly to the surviving owner upon the death of one owner, bypassing the estate administration process.
  • Beneficiary Designations: For certain assets, such as superannuation or life insurance policies, it is possible to nominate specific beneficiaries who will receive the proceeds upon your death.
  • Protect your Interests: Consider how to protect your interests if you become ill or incapacitated./li>

By evaluating and implementing estate planning strategies that reflect your goals and circumstances, you can safeguard your family’s financial future and ensure your legacy endures.

4. Understand the Role of Legal Professionals in Your Estate Planning

Engaging professional legal assistance is vital when you are navigating the complexities of wills and estate planning.

Experienced legal professionals can support your estate planning journey in the following ways:

  1. Drafting and Updating Your Will:
    Legal professionals can provide expert advice on how to draft a valid will that accurately reflects your wishes and minimises potential challenges or disputes.
  2. Advise You on Your Estate Planning Strategies:
    Solicitors can help you evaluate different estate planning options, tailoring strategies to suit your specific needs and goals.
  3. Probate and Estate Administration:
    Expert Legal advisors can guide executors through the probate process and assist with the administration of your estate, ensuring that your final wishes are fulfilled.


Protect Your Legacy and Ensure Your Family’s Future

Wills and Estate Planning are essential to securing your family’s financial future and preserving your legacy. By understanding the legal requirements for drafting a valid will, appointing a reliable executor or executors, and implementing tailored estate planning strategies, you can be confident that your assets and your loved ones will be cared for when you pass away.

If you wish to streamline your Estate Planning process then it is imperative that you seek professional legal advice. At Anumis Legal our experienced Dream Team take the complexity and stress out of your Estate planning process. Our compassionate, experienced, and practical Anumis Legal wills and Estates Planning team are here to explain your options to you, specifically depending on your unique circumstances, needs and wants. At Anumis Legal we do our utmost to ensure that your will and your Estate Plan accurately reflects your intentions and adheres to legal requirements. With expert guidance and support, the intricacies of wills and Estate Planning can be navigated smoothly, giving you peace of mind and reassurance for the future.

Are you ready to update your will or embark on Estate Planning?

Contact our expert wills and Estate Planning lawyers, right now!

If you know it’s finally time to take care of your Estate Planning or you are ready to prepare your new will, then our team of dedicated Anumis Legal lawyers can guide you through your Estate Planning process. We are here to offer you tailored advice and solutions to ensure your wishes are carried out effectively. If you know that you need to ensure that your loved ones are looked after as you would have them be taken care of when you die, then reach out to Anumis Legal today to discuss your Estate planning options.  For your complimentary chat with our expert estate planning lawyers, call 07 5455 6347 or email admin@anumis.com.au now. We look forward to assisting you.

If you’re looking for a wills & estate planning on the Sunshine Coast, check out our Wills & Estate Planning page to learn more about our services.



Nadine Love

Nadine Love is a lawyer and part of “the dream team” at Anumis Legal. She completed her law degree at Southern Cross University and received the New South Wales Bar Association Prize for Evidence and Civil Litigation. In addition to her passion for family law and therapeutic jurisprudence Nadine is also a celebrated international author, personal & business coach, drama therapist and motivational mentor. Nadine’s interests encompass swimming and walking in the rainforest with golden retriever Anu, and Australian Shepherds, Lex, and Onyx. She combines her strengths of advocacy, empathy and out-of-the box problem solving to support her clients to achieve their best legal outcomes.

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