Estate Planning, Trusts & Wills

Turner Hopkins can assist in how to plan, manage and protect your assets both during your lifetime and on your death.

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Estate Planning, Trusts and Wills

Asset protection incorporates the use of discretionary family trusts to manage and protect your assets. The other way to ensure what you have worked hard for goes to those you wish is to prepare a Will. Every person over the age of 18 should consider preparing a Will. 

We can also assist in the administration of your estate following death as well as assisting the personal representatives on any legal issues or matters that may arise during the administration of a deceased’s estate.

Trusts and Asset Protection

There are a number of reasons for establishing a Trust. These include asset protection, protection from creditors, potential tax advantages, means testing protecting and relationship property protection (matrimonial).  We have experience in creating and preparing the necessary structures that will meet your personal and, where necessary, commercial circumstances.

Wills

Apart from using Trusts to plan your estate, the other way to ensure what you have worked hard for goes to those you wish is to prepare a Will. Every person over the age of 18 should consider preparing a Will.  A current and valid Will is an important document which contains your final written instructions as to significant issues on your death.

If a person dies without a Will, then your assets and other personal possessions will be distributed in accordance with the Administration Act 1969. It is then quite possible that your estate may go to people that you did not wish to and the costs to administer the estate, where there is no Will, will be more. Turner Hopkins can assist in preparing or updating your Will.

Estate Administration

We can assist in the administration of your estate following death. This would include making application to the High Court for the last Will to be approved for administration. Assisting in collecting and managing the estate assets, paying any outstanding debts or moneys from the estate, helping to complete a tax return for the estate, and ultimately assisting with distribution of the estate to the named beneficiaries. We can also assist the personal representatives on any legal issues or matters that may arise during the administration of a deceased’s estate.

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

The highly experienced team at Turner Hopkins understands that setting up an EPA can be a daunting task.  We have the right team to help guide you through the potential issues to reduce the risk of the Donor misusing their powers and not acting in your best interest.

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FAQ’s

  • What is a Trust?

    A Trust is quite a simple concept. Basically, you transfer ownership of your assets to another party. You want to do this by passing the assets onto someone else while ensuring you retain control over them. So a family trust allows the ownership of your valuable assets to be in someone else's name while you still have access to them.

  • Why do I need a Trust?

    Family trusts have been around since Roman times. While there are endless reasons why people need to have a Trust, here are a few reasons that provide some benefits:

    • Taxation
    • Income tax
    • Use of another entity
    • Asset Protection
    • Bargaining with Creditors
    • Protection for Professional People
    • Relationship Property Protection
    • Confidentiality
  • Who are the key parties for a Trust Deed?

    A family trust is established by drawing up and executing a trust deed. There are three parties involved:

    • The "Settlor" – this is you, the person wishing to establish the trust by putting an asset into the trust.
    • The "Trustees" – these are the people who administer the trust and look after it for the beneficiaries.
    • The "Beneficiaries" – these are the people who will ultimately get the assets or the benefit to them.
  • Why do I need a lawyer to do a Trust? Can't I just use a template?

    A trust deed is a legal document and establishing one is a job for a lawyer. Your accountant and financial advisor may assist with establishing a trust, but a solicitor should do the actual trust formation and asset transfers.

    Each trust is unique and will need to be customised on an individual basis. There have been many horror stories of people who have tried to create trusts themselves. Often, critical and important information is missing which could have a negative impact later.

  • What are the tax benefits of having a Trust?

    While tax benefits for trusts have gradually diminished over the last twenty years, there are still some tax advantages by having a trust. For example a trust can income split and benefit from the lower tax rate of a beneficiary.

  • If I form a Trust will I have to make new Will?

    The answer is yes.

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Recent Reviews...

“I can't speak highly enough of Jenny. She got everything done in a timely manner and when my ex-husband threw a spanner in the works at the eleventh hour she got the required documentation to his lawyers and settlement back on track.” ~ Tracey
“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to John Stirling and Kathryn Wynd for their patience and understanding. We are so honored to have John and Kathryn looking after us. Whenever someone asks if I know of legal firm, I always say Turner Hopkins.” ~ Manaia
“John is very easy to talk to, he never makes you feel dumb, and never makes you feel like you are wasting his time for asking questions. He explains everything very clearly, every time. John's support staff are also very efficient and so easy to deal with. No detail is missed when dealing with them. My husband and I are fans of them all :)” ~ Jess