Our team of estate lawyers is led by Marie Sheehy who has worked in Succession Law for many years. We regularly draft simple Wills, testamentary trust Wills, special disability trust Wills and advise on complex estate planning strategies.
Contact us to arrange a consultation or a quote with one of our highly qualified and experienced estate lawyers for all of your inheritance law needs and to receive comprehensive inheritance law service and advice.
Gifting Property Under a Will.
When giving consideration to preparing your Will, we at Calvados + Woolf Lawyers like to speak to you about:
1. Who you are;
2. What family you have; and
3. What you own; and
4. What you think you own (referring to family trusts and related entities like companies etc).
We take detailed instructions about your family tree, your family circumstances, your assets and what your legacy encompasses.
Drafting a Will is not just about passing assets but it is also about passing legacies. For some people, as morbid as it sounds, a Will is the final conversation that they have with loved ones. We take the time to remind people that this conversation is as important as the distribution of assets. Many a client is reminded that leaving small legacies as gifts to children or loved ones allows them to pass on messages or important heirlooms or books etc through the generations.
We understand complex legal structures and trusts and try to encourage you to ensure that you leave with the relevant Enduring Powers of Attorney, General Powers of Attorney and Wills and Binding Death Nominations (in the case of self managed super funds (SMSF’s).
Some people forget that ‘their business’ is actually run by a company and that the company accounts may get frozen if there is not a succession plan or power of attorney in place to allow the accounts to continue to be operated after the death of the key person.
We try to work with you and your family to make the process thoughtful, considered and quick but with attention to detail.
Who Owns What or What owns What
Searches are highly recommended to ensure that we have the correct picture of what entity owns what. You cannot gift property that you do not own and many Australian’s often forget that property is not owned by them personally but by an individual/company as trustee or by a company in its own right. It is important that we test your version of ownership.
Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common
A property which is owned with other people(s) may be owned as joint tenants or tenants in common and the difference between the two is crucial in estate planning.
On death, the property will automatically pass in ownership to the other owner, and will not form part of the estate of the first deceased person. It will form part of the estate of the last-deceased person.
Owning a property as joint tenants can be useful if the Testator feels that there is a risk that someone may apply to the Court for further provision from their estate. If the Testator passes away before the other owner, the property will not form part of their estate which may be the subject of a claim for further provision. This is obviously a risk however as the opposite can happen and the Testator’s estate would increase in size and therefore the estate at risk of the claim would increase in size.
Tenants in common
You can only gift your share of the property under their Will and the other share(s) of the property will still be owned by the other owners if the Testator passes away. The same thing occurs with the co-owner(s) interest in the property and the Testator may then own the property with person(s) they did not initially intend to own it with.