Did you know: nearly half of the Australian population dies without having a Will in place?
There is no doubt Wills bring up issues that many of us would rather not contemplate, though having
an up-to-date Will is the best way of providing for those you leave behind, by directing how you wish
your assets to be distributed ensuring your loved ones are looked after.
If you die without a valid Will in place (known as dying ‘’intestate’’), your assets are distributed
according to State intestacy laws, allowing the court to determine how your estate is distributed.
There are a number of other important reasons as to why you should have a Will in place, including but not
– Naming Guardians for Young Children: If you have young children, your Will can
name a guardian(s) to care for them after your death. Without a Will, the court will decide
who will be the guardian of your children.
– Mitigating Claims on the Estate: Your Will can be planned, structured, and worded in a
way that mitigates the potential for a person to make a successful claim on the estate. In
Victoria this is known as a Part IV Claim or Family Provision Claim, which can deplete large
amounts of the estate in legal fees and is an extremely emotionally taxing process.
– Peace of Mind: providing the peace of mind knowing that your final wishes Will be carried
out after your death as opposed to your estate being distributed according to State intestacy
Testamentary Trust Wills
Did you know: creating a testamentary trust can provide maximum flexibility, better asset
protection from third parties, and tax planning advantages for beneficiaries?
Having a Will in place is of the utmost importance and bare minimum in estate/planning. However,
if you want your loved ones to reap significant asset protection and tax benefits you can create a
different type of Will, known as a Testamentary Trust.
Here’s what you need to know about Testamentary Trusts;
– Testamentary trusts should save your family tax after you die
– Testamentary trusts should protect your inheritance from divorce and bankruptcy risks
– Testamentary trusts are not just for complex situations or the rich
– You only get one chance to access the fantastic estate planning benefits of a testamentary
trust – it MUST be in your Will when you die
– Testamentary trusts are not administratively burdensome – any extra compliance should be
far outweighed by the tax savings
– Testamentary trusts only start working if you die – the benefits don’t start until you die but
neither do the (minor) compliance requirements
Updating your Will
It is also important to remember that you should be regularly reviewing your Will and updating it where you have a change in circumstances,
including but not limited to;
– You acquire or dispose of significant assets, including property, a company or business
– An executor or beneficiary becomes ill or dies
– You have a relationship breakdown which someone named in your Will
If you do not have a will or have not updated your will in some time, you can reach out to the Yarra
Lane Legal Team.