How to Be Prepared for Your Initial Estate Planning Appointment

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Published by Preston Law on 26/06/2018

For some the thought of preparing a Will is daunting but at Preston Law, we hope to make the whole process as simple and pain-free as possible.

Here is what you can expect at your initial appointment for preparing your Will.

1. What is the process?

While clients and their personal situations are never the same for preparing a simple Will, we aim to follow the following 3 step process:

Step 1 Initial Consultation – At this first appointment, we ask all clients a number of questions regarding your family situation, relationships, details of all of your assets and liabilities and general instructions regarding your Will. You can expect this appointment to take approximately 1 hour.

Step 2 Drafting Your Will – After your initial consultation, you go away and we draft your Will in accordance with your instructions. We will provide you with your draft Will to review. You may then contact us to notify us of any changes you require.

Step 3 Signing Your Will – Upon confirmation from you that you are satisfied with your draft Will, we finalize the Will document and have you attend our office again to sign your Will. This step usually takes place no later than 1 week after your Initial Consultation. Once your Will has been signed we provide you with a copy and we usually hold the original in our safe custody.

2. What information should you consider before your appointment?

Before you attend our office for your initial consultation you should consider what you want your Will to say. Our lawyers will go through with you the legalities of your decisions and these wishes may alter once you have spoken with us.

You may also wish to consider the following concepts which will be provided for in your Will:

Who do you want to name as your executor? The executor is the person named in your Will who has the responsibility of carrying out the terms of their Will when you die.

Will you be making any specific gifts under your Will? A specific gift is a particular gift made by a Testator in their Will to a certain person or class of persons. These gifts may include gifts of cash, property and the like.

Who is to receive the residual or balance of your estate after the payment of your testamentary expenses, liabilities and specific gifts.
If you have infant children, who will you appoint as their guardian or infant children? A guardian or a testamentary guardian is generally a person with whom a parent, by their Will, appoints as the caregiver of their infant children upon their death. The Succession Act 1981 (Qld) states that a testamentary guardian of a child has all the powers, rights and responsibilities, for making decisions about the long-term care, welfare, and development of the child, that are ordinarily vested in a guardian.

3. What should you bring?

To be properly prepared for your initial consultation we recommend to all clients you bring the following information to your appointment:

  • Photo identification.
  • Details of all of your assets and liabilities. Such assets may include real property, cash at bank, shares, life insurance policies, loans you have made to people, vehicles, household contents, collectables, jewellery and art. Such liabilities may include mortgages, credit cards, and loans.
  • Details of any interest you have in trusts, companies, and partnerships. Including any deeds or constitutions that govern such relationships.
    Details of your superannuation.
  • The details should expect to bring in respect of the above are where and what names accounts are held in and the value of the assets and liabilities.
  • A copy of your previous/existing Will if you have one.
  • A copy of any binding financial agreements, consent orders, and other agreements, judgments or orders to which you are a party.

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