Experienced Estate Planning Lawyers in Melbourne & across regional Victoria
Stratus Legal Group offers affordable, fixed price packages on your Estate Planning essentials so that you can feel prepared and in control.
Estate Planning is the process of making essential arrangements for the management and disposition of your estate during your lifetime. Your assets, how you achieve a living, and with whom you want to provide for after you die are all considered during the estate planning process.
The process of Estate Planning will examine whether existing legal structures can be changed to maximise tax savings, asset protection, and ultimately achieve your Estate Planning objectives. We also spend time getting to know your beneficiaries and their current situation. We can assist you in determining their needs and how your bequest will affect them when the time does come.
A little more about our Estate Planning Services
If you own a business or are part of a partnership, you should think about what will happen if you pass away. It is important to plan ahead of time because sometimes mutual understanding is insufficient. We can help you understand the benefits of life insurance and how it can help you sell your business or a share of your company in the event of your death.
No one enjoys paying excessive or unnecessary taxes. You’ve worked hard to accumulate your wealth, so getting the right advice now to make potential legal structure changes could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Centrelink benefits may be available to you or your beneficiaries. It’s critical to plan your estate so that any Centrelink benefits you receive now or in the future are maximised.
Once all of the assets and liabilities have been gathered, they must be valued as of the date of death. The Executor may require the assistance of a valuer to accurately value the assets, which must be sworn in an affidavit before the court. The next step in applying for probate is for the Executor to publicise their intention to do so. After the advertisement, there is a time limit before the application for probate can be made. This enables any creditors to contact the Executor and seek payment from the Deceased Estate.
Our Probate lawyers are experienced in preparing court applications and detailed accurate affidavits. Furthermore, our Probate lawyers have access to all internal departments at major banks and building societies in order to locate any unidentified assets. Our Probate lawyers’ goal is to find, identify, and value all estate assets before calling them into the estate for maximum distribution to the Estate’s beneficiaries.
Another critical step is to determine whether a Caveat has been lodged against the deceased’s Will. Our Probate attorneys conduct the necessary searches of the court’s records, keep you fully informed, and provide you with the legal advice you require.
It’s critical to think about life insurance as part of your Estate Planning. Life insurance can then be used to pay off debt or fund a succession plan. It can also help your business partners buy out your share of the company when you die if they don’t have the cash on hand.
Super, like any other trust fund, is not included in your Will. Nonetheless, it should be factored into your Estate Planning. We can help by looking into how your superannuation or trust benefits are handled after you pass away. We can assist you by providing guidance on how to structure and manage these financial vehicles as part of your Estate Planning needs.
You must take into account what will happen if one of the partners dies, whether in business or in an investment. We can assist you in exploring your options and determining how to use insurance or other methods to meet your Estate requirements.
It can be difficult to look after both your surviving spouse and your bloodline children. We have a variety of legal tools to help you keep a roof over your loved ones’ heads while also ensuring that they receive the benefits of your Estate when the time comes.
Michael, who is 68 years old, came to us for assistance with his Will. Michael has two children from his previous marriage and has remarried. Sue, Michael’s new partner, is 66 years old and has three children from a previous marriage. Sue has health problems, and both of their children are adults who work.
When Michael and Sue met, Sue moved into Michael’s house, which had a $165,000 mortgage. Michael wants Sue to be able to live in his house after he passes away, but he is concerned that Sue will be unable to pay the mortgage. Sue should also be able to sell the house and use the proceeds to move into care if she needs it. Michael wants any money left over from his estate to go to his bloodline children after Sue passes away.
We suggested that Michael obtain a life insurance policy, which would help clear the existing mortgage, allowing Sue to live in a debt-free home. This will allow her to remain in Michael’s home until she passes away, or she may require the equity in the home to move into care. We provided Michael with extensive Estate Planning advice and then drafted a Will for him that provided Sue with a life interest. When Sue died, the property’s benefits were passed down to his bloodline children.
Things to Consider
Having experience in all aspects of estate planning and wills, we are able to consider options that usually haven’t been thought of by our clients. This is where true experience makes a difference.
Familys and relationships are complicated and sometimes it can be awkward to discuss your private life. We assure you there is no circumstances in your family that you should feel like you can’t discuss with us as the more information we have, the more we can ensure you receive the best legal advice.
We aim to keep the fees for estate planning as affordable as possible and can offer payment plans where needed. All Estate matters require full payment to be held in our trust account before we commence any detailed work.
We offer telephone, video and in person appointments to suit your needs. Our team will always do their best to promptly return calls, emails and letters.
What Our Clients Say
Read what some of our past clients have to say. The ethics and reputation of each one of our lawyers, precedes them individually and us as a firm.
Wishing you all the best for your future endeavours and extremely happy to have decided to gain your advice and very professional Legal support.
Alex is an extremely professional, efficient, and friendly lawyer. He was fast with all correspondence, contacting me on the day of any inquiries. He took the time to happily explain any questions I had. I highly recommend Alex O’Donohue.