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Adeline Schiralli

Adeline Schiralli

Estate Planning Solicitor

Willis & Bowring Solicitors & Attorneys

I am an Estate Planning Solicitor, a loving wife and a young mother of two. I was born, raised and schooled in the wonderful Sutherland Shire and hope to be able to do the same with my own children. My husband and two children are my most valued treasures and I have truly been blessed with a wonderful immediate and extended family. I also love being an Estate Planning Solicitor as I feel I can help my clients (the majority of which are Shire residents) take the stress out of planning for the inevitable by ensuring that every aspect of their financial and personal circumstances are catered for in their tailored Estate Plans.

As an Estate Planning solicitor, I often see families, like my own, struggle to understand the myriad of options that are available to them when it comes to Estate Planning. My aim is not only to assist these clients with their own Estate Plans but also to educate society about the benefits of proper Estate Planning and how to prevent problems occurring for themselves and their beneficiaries in the future. As such, I do not see myself as a typical Lawyer: clients generally don’t come to see me when they have a problem that needs to be solved. Rather, they come to see me to try and prevent problems from occurring in the future.

What is Estate Planning?

In a nutshell, Estate Planning is about protecting your wealth and the wealth of your family in the event of your incapacity and/or death.

Contrary to popular belief, Estate Planning is more than just a Will and in most circumstances, a Will is not enough to ensure that your estate is distributed in the way that you would like it to be in the event of your death. Further, a Will does not cover certain assets including Superannuation, Joint Assets, Trust Assets or Company Assets. These assets need to be treated separately from your Will to ensure that they are passed to a your beneficiaries in the most appropriate way. A Will also does not deal with what would happen to your assets or your wishes regarding your healthcare in the event of incapacity.

Testamentary Trust Wills, Binding Death Benefit Superannuation Nominations, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianships are only a small example of the powers that can be put in place to help safeguard the future of your beneficiaries and to ensure you are able to be looked after by your loved ones in the event of your incapacity.

There are also different types of Wills for different situations and depending on your circumstances, these more complex Wills can save your beneficiaries many thousands down the track if they are drafted correctly. They can also offer many tax advantages and provide asset protection benefits for beneficiaries, which a simple will could not achieve. There are also a variety of will arrangements that can cater for blended families and certain documents can also be put in place to attempt to prevent a successful claim from an estranged beneficiary.

Why is Estate Planning so important?

Proper Estate Planning is essential to ensure that all of your assets are looked after in the event of your death and/or incapacity in the most financially effective way possible.

Without a tailored Estate Plan in place particular to that person’s circumstances, a person’s assets may be gifted to or controlled by the wrong person including an ex-spouse (of the Will maker or later on of a beneficiary), a creditor of a beneficiary, an estranged child or even the Tax Office. Further, depending on the types of assets that a person owns and how they are held, their wish for equality between their beneficiaries may not be achieved without careful Estate Planning.

A person may also be at the mercy of the Guardianship Tribunal and other government agencies if they have not appointed someone to look after their legal & financial affairs and their medical & lifestyle decisions in the event of their incapacity. Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianships are essential powers, which grant a trusted person of your choice (e.g. your spouse, your children or a trusted friend or relative) the power to look after your legal, financial, medical and lifestyle affairs if you are unable to for yourself. Under the current law, even your spouse needs to be formally appointed in order to act on your behalf if you have lost capacity.

As life gets more complicated, so does the law. Make sure that all of your assets are considered when updating your Will and/or Estate Plan by consulting with a solicitor that specialises in Estate Planning. If you require assistance with any Estate Planning needs, Adeline can be contacted at Willis & Bowring Solicitors on 9525-8100 or on their website http://www.willisbowring.com.au/

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