Steps you can take to protect your assets for the benefit of your family


It is essential that your intentions regarding distribution of property as well as your wishes in relation to the continuation of treatment are known and documented.

A will is a document which identifies your intentions and provides instructions as to the distribution of your assets when you die.

Depending on their relationship to you, family members will accrue rights under the will or in accordance with the law and sometimes those rights can conflict. Having a clear and up-to-date will is essential to avoid any conflict.

Whenever your personal circumstances change you should review and if necessary update your will.

The way in which assets are passed via a will can impact on the beneficiary of those assets. Development of appropriate testamentary trusts will assist the beneficiaries to access those assets and assist with tax minimisation.

Testamentary discretionary trusts are particularly recommended if the beneficiary who will receive the assets:

  • Has a disability.
  • Is poor at handling his/her finances.
  • Practices in a profession which has a high risk of litigation.
  • Is in a high tax bracket.
  • Has a history of bankruptcy.

In the event of conflict between beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of an estate there are often significant emotions at play.

Good planning and open communication in the preparation of a will often avoids conflict or confusion.

Making sure you access all available financial support

There are many community based and Government organisations that will make financial and other support available to you in your time of need.

You do not have to accept adverse decisions that are made in relation to your entitlements to financial assistance or services. Often there is a process of review and appeal in relation to those decisions, particularly administrative decisions made by Government. The courts have a general power of review of those decisions to ensure that administrative decision makers exercise their powers in a just and fair manner.

As a member of a community organisation or other support service your membership terms and conditions may also enable you to review or appeal decisions made that are adverse to your interests.

You should seek legal advice about your rights in relation to any adverse decision.