Estate planning can become a complicated and tedious task when not approached and followed through correctly. In this two part blog we will mention some of the common traps and mistakes associated with estate planning and some tips on how to avoid them!

1. Getting tangled in the family court tentacles


The Family Court of Australia is a complex terrain to navigate, especially when it comes to the entitlements of son or daughter-in-law’s. A worst case scenario is, upon leaving an inheritance for your child and their partner, the partner leaves your child and tries to attack his or her inheritance. This can cause complicated court cases and unwanted stress added to your family.
 
Luckily, we at Owen Hodge Lawyers have a special inheritance trust that optimises protection for your child and their assets, and stops the unwarranted attack (ask us for more details!)

2. Not allowing for flexibility with your Binding Death Benefit Nomination


A Binding Death Benefit Nomination is a legally binding nomination that allows you to advise the trustee who is to receive the nomination upon your death.
 
With some self-managed superannuation funds having a large amount of members, and with the Commonwealth Government still talking of draconian legislation that imposes maximum benefits and superannuation taxes, our Binding Death Benefit Nomination offers flexibility post-death for your beneficiary.
 
This will allow your beneficiary the option of keeping all of your member benefit in the fund, or to transfer some or all of it to a preferable investment structure such as a testamentary trust. This form of BDBN is not available from most lawyers, however at Owen Hodge we are more than happy to draft this type of Nomination.

3. Paying unnecessary legal fees due to incomplete tasks by your law firm


Wills and estates can be quite a tricky area of law, particularly with blended families becoming quite common today. With a second marriage there may be children of two or three marriage, all with a claim to inheritance.
 
One such example; children from their deceased father’s first marriage, had expected a substantial benefit under their late father’s will and estate. However, once the deceased had passed away, his second wife immediately changed the will in favour of her two daughters.
 
The couple had previously enlisted the legal services of a Tier 1 Legal firm, however this firm had not completed the Estate Planning transfer tasks for the couple.
 
We, at Owen Hodge Lawyers were able to argue that there was a contract for mutual wills, and as a result of this our clients received the part of the estate that their father indented.If that Tier 1 Firm had completed the legal services they had been entrusted with, the couple would have avoided paying over $13,000 in unnecessary legal fees.


Lindsay Stoddart

These common traps and related advice was written by our wills and estate expert
Lindsay Stoddart. If you require legal assistance in relation to your estate planning or would like more information about these issues please contact
Owen Hodge Lawyers on 1800 770 780.