If you’re reading this, chances are you’re thinking about making a will.
Great! You’ve taken the first step. Making a plan for how to look after your loved ones after you’re gone can be a daunting experience. After all, no one enjoys thinking about their own death.
Unfortunately, many Canberrans never get the chance to make those plans and die either without a will, or with a badly drafted, home-made, or ‘will-kit’ will. This can be stressful, disappointing and financially harmful for the people you leave behind.
Increasingly, a poorly put-together or home-made will may result in estate litigation, which can cost your estate significant amounts of money and take years to resolve.
Think of a skilfully prepared will and estate plan, put together by a specialist lawyer, as an insurance policy against the sort of stress and financial hardship your loved ones don’t need.
What to look for in a wills and estate planning lawyer:
- Specialisation. Don’t settle for a law firm that ‘also does wills’. Although there are many lawyers who offer wills, it’s important to know that wills and estate planning is a complex and specialist area of law. Your best bet is to proceed with a lawyer or law firm who focuses on and specialises in wills and estates. They will offer the best value for money and provide a service that is tailored to your needs.
- Qualifications and awards. A great team of estate planning lawyers may be recognised for their exceptional performance in that area of law. Look for lawyers who have been recognised for their quality work in a peer-review guide such as Doyle’s Guide, who have accredited specialisations, or who hold further educational qualifications such as a master’s degree in Wills and Estates.
- More than just a will? A quality estate planning lawyer knows that not all assets can be dealt with in your will. They will consider the big picture and provide you with advice not just in relation to your estate assets (i.e., those you can deal with in your will), but also in relation to jointly-held assets, trusts, superannuation, binding death benefit nominations, life insurance, taxation issues relevant to your estate plan, risk management, and enduring powers of attorney.
- What if my family is complex? Not all families look the same! That’s ok – a skilled estate planning lawyer can provide advice and tailor a solution that achieves your objectives but also minimises the risk of family disharmony and costly litigation.
- I have a business, company, or trust. Can my lawyer deal with those in my will? If your financial situation is complex or involves external structures, it’s even more vital to deal with an estate planning expert. A highly-trained estate planning lawyer will be able to ensure that those structures and their assets pass effectively to the next generation.
Canberra’s Best Places to Get Your Will Drawn Up According to You
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.
Situated in the heart of Canberra, Bradley Allen Love (BAL) Lawyers boasts a stellar reputation and impressive track record for achieving positive client outcomes.
When it comes to wills and estate planning, its compassionate yet professional attitude and industry-leading expertise will give you peace of mind.
BAL Lawyers’ specialist estates team is highly-trained, experienced, and recognised as thought leaders in the estates law community.
With its wealth of experience and a deep understanding of all areas of estates law, BAL Lawyers takes a holistic approach to estate planning, considering the broader personal, family and financial circumstances to ensure clients’ wishes are carried out. Its team can also provide advice about complicated legal issues in estates and guardianship matters.
BAL Lawyers puts its clients first and is committed to high levels of integrity, honesty, and innovation.
Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers delivers expert legal advice, guidance, and representation right here in Canberra. With a team of multi-disciplinary professionals, you can expect a hassle-free will service tailored to your specific needs.
Meyer Vandenberg always puts its clients’ best interest as the number one priority. You can be confident your assets are protected and distributed to beneficiaries as you intend upon your death.
Drafting wills can be a confronting process, requiring careful consideration and attention. Baker Deane & Nutt Lawyers (BDN) can tailor wills to suit your unique needs – from property to business ownership and investment.
BDN has serviced the legal needs of those in the Canberra & Queanbeyan region for over 100 years. It ensures client affairs are secured in preparation for the future.
If you’re looking to create a will that benefits and protects the interests of all parties involved, Baker Deane & Nutt could be the firm for you.
DDCS Lawyers is a wills, estate and business succession specialist. Its team of highly skilled estate-planning lawyers is one of Canberra’s largest and includes the city’s only accredited wills and estates specialist. One of its lawyers has a master’s degree in Wills and Estates, with another lawyer currently completing the same degree. Both have been recognised for their expertise in Doyle’s Guide to the Legal Profession.
DDCS Lawyers have the knowledge and experience to guide you confidently through the estate planning process, leaving you safe in the knowledge that your affairs are in order and your loved ones will be looked after.
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Please share your experience in the comments area below.