Estate Planning for New Parents

Our lives are changing. It’s not uncommon for both parents to work, the pace and demands of our professions are increasing, travel is on the rise and holidays are required to maintain work/life balance.

More than 4,000 of the 160,000 recorded deaths in Australia throughout 2012 were the tragic deaths of people aged between 30 and 44 – many of whom had made no preparation, leaving their loved ones in a state of shock, uncertainty and despair.

Family Future is a modern estate plan that targets at parents of young families in Australia. Traditionally, estate planning is a consideration for older generations who understand the severity of loss because of the prevalence of such in their age bracket.

For the first time, estate planning has been redefined, tailoring the planning product to meet the needs of parents of young children – based on our changing lifestyles. With this comes an increasing rate of dependency and the increasing need to plan. Family Future is designed to give parents of young children peace of mind, ensuring definitive answers to questions such as:

    • How would my mortgage be repaid if I was unable to pay it?
    • What would happen to my family if they were no longer receiving my income?
    • Who would take care of my children if I couldn’t?
    • Which schools will my children attend for their best chance at a bright future?
  • What sort of funding can be set up and at which point and by whom would this funding be released?

Family Future is more than a will. It’s a better solution for a brighter future. Incorporating will preparation, insurance, testamentary trusts, power of attorney and risk assessment, Family Future specifically focuses on the needs of young families and tailors specific plans. To ask a question or have a chat about Family Future, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1800 770 780.

Real Life Stories

Many parents of young families don’t consider the possibility that an unforeseen tragedy – such as a death, illness, injury or permanent disability – could happen at any time.

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The fact is our lifestyles are changing. The increasing global pace we’re surrounded by means we are becoming complacent which equals increased risk. Tragedy can strike at any time, to anyone, including those who should be in the prime of their lives. These real-life case studies demonstrate how real-life tragedy has struck real families with young children.

Family Future is a plan that ensures bases are covered.

It addresses all potential considerations that are relevant to families faced by tragedy, such as the choice of future guardians, finance and the ability to guarantee insurance money is protected and distributed as intended.

Benefits and Features

Family Future is a highly flexible, consultative planning service for parents of young Australians, guaranteeing the adequate care and provision for families in the unfortunate event of a tragedy. It covers all potential considerations that may face a family met with tragedy – whether the tragedy occurs in Australia or abroad.

Family Future can include:

    • Legal advice and recommendations
    • Establishing and implementing a Will
    • Testamentary trusts
  • Enduring Power of Attorney

Family Future ensures your family benefits from security in the event that one or both parents die prematurely, and in the event of interruption to everyday life and income by illness or injury. The establishment of suitable Will and testamentary trusts ensures insurance money is administered by a suitable nominee, and parents receive a predetermined choice as to who their children would live with in the event that they both die prematurely.

An investment into Family Future is an investment into the security and protection of the people you care for the most. Family Future: for peace of mind that your partner and children will be cared for if tragedy strikes; for the assurance that life’s unexpected turns are navigated through; for protection and security when you need them most.

How to Apply

Planning for your family’s future is simple and straightforward.

A relationship with the experts at Owen Hodge Lawyers will ensure every question you have is answered and you feel comfortable each step of the way.

The steps are:

1. Contact Owen Hodge Lawyers for your Estate Planning Assessment. The process is flexible and consultative.

2. Fill in the Estate Planning Review Checklist and bring it with you when you meet with our experienced estate planning lawyer.

Estate Planning Workbook

Estate planning requires a lot of careful consideration as well as a number of documents and forms, including wills, power of attorney forms, and living wills. The Estate Planning Review Checklist can assist in preparing your estate planning documents.

Not all questions will be applicable to your situation while others may prompt further considerations.

Please answer only the questions you feel comfortable answering at this time. When you meet with a lawyer, there will be opportunity to discuss the estate planning needs specific to you.

Click here to download the checklist

3. An initial meeting with Owen Hodge Lawyers will establish your values, vision and goals, ahead of a seven step process that will guide you from your initial objectives to post-implementation reviews.

4. Owen Hodge Lawyers will provide clear instructions and advice on the preparation of Wills, testamentary trusts and Power of Attorney and all relevant documentation including legal notifications to guardians.

To find out more, contact us today.


How is Family Future different to just insurance?

Family Future is an all-encompassing service that can be tailored to suit the individual requirements of each family. An investment in Family Future assures comfort and peace of mind that your family will be cared for the way you intend should tragedy strike. Services can be tailored to cover everything from Wills, testamentary trusts and Power of Attorney to parents nominating a guardian to care for their children should they both be killed prematurely.

I have a Will, why would I need Family Future?

While Family Future can include advice on and establishment of Wills, it has many more wide-ranging benefits. This can include testamentary trusts, Power of Attorney and the ability to nominate a guardian in the instance that both parents are killed prematurely. Family Future is a highly flexible service that can be tailored to a family’s specific situation and requirements.

How will the children get my money?

In the tragic event of parents dying prematurely, it is important to have a plan in place to ensure vulnerable children are financially supported. In the instance that one parent dies, the survivor can manage the financial affairs of the family from the estate provided. That is achieved in a simple will. However, in the tragic event that both parents die early, a simple will leaving a large sum of money in the hands of a young child is inappropriate. Funds should be transferred to a trusted family member, friend or professional on trust who will use the money wisely for the children’s interests only and in accordance with any stated wishes of the deceased parents.

How do I make sure that money gets to the right person to use it in the right way for the benefit of my children?

A testamentary trust can be set up in a will that comes into effect only upon the death of the person making the will. This serves to protect wealth for children until they are of age to sensibly handle the available funds. Funds can be administered by the trustee in the meantime for the children’s education and to provide for their needs such as food, accommodation and clothing. The trustee can be selected in line with trustworthiness and, if considered necessary, professionally skilled. A major consideration is to ensure that, having made plans and spent considerable money implementing them for the children, the ultimate beneficiary is not a family member who is not sufficiently skilled or honest to manage the money for the children’s best interests.

How many young Australians are struck by tragedy each year?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 4,000 people that died in Australia throughout 2012 were aged between 30 and 44. These tragedies included road accidents, illnesses and injuries.

Who is Owen Hodge Lawyers?

Owen Hodge Lawyers is a Sydney law firm with more than 50 years’ experience providing legal services to individuals and commercial clients. The firm specialises in the acquisition of wealth, protection and management of assets and the transfer of wealth throughout generations.

What are the circumstances that qualify someone for Family Future?

Anyone who has dependants is at risk of dying or physical disability and cannot identify exactly when that will be will find use for Family Future. Family Future is essentially estate planning, through which you plan and prepare for a time when you cannot contribute financially to you and/or your dependants’ needs, due to physical disability or death. Family Future is the advice provided and consequent tailored document preparation by Owen Hodge Lawyers. There may be a need for funding by insurance which we may assist the client to identify; this will be outsourced to a financial planner.

What can be organised for my mortgage on account of my inability to pay it?

This is a funding question which leads to financial advice. Owen Hodge Lawyers is not legally qualified to talk about this but can refer you to a qualified financial planner who can assist if a need for funding at death is identified.

What support can be organised for my family in the instance that they were no longer receiving my income?

This is a funding question which leads to financial advice. Owen Hodge Lawyers is not legally qualified to talk about this but can refer you to a qualified financial planner who can assist if a need for funding at death is identified.

How does Family Future give me the assurance that I can select who would take care of my children if I couldn’t?

This is something that can be directed in your Will. It is a legal question and it is answered by the young parents. If this questioning is not addressing and is not done in the Will, fights between family members about this sort of issue can result.

What sort of funding can be set up for my family and at which point and by whom would this funding be released?

This is a funding question which leads to financial advice. Owen Hodge Lawyers is not legally qualified to talk about this but can refer you to a qualified financial planner who can assist if a need for funding at death is identified.

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