Tailoring an estate plan right for you
As a blended family, you have an extended family circle, with children of your own or those of your partner, from one or more previous relationships, to consider. The estate laws in each State give rights to partners, children and in most States, to step-children to claim on your estate if you have not provided for them. The laws are complex but you can minimise the risk of an expensive and protracted estate claim with the right estate plan in place.
Juggling competing priorities
Some couples choose to leave their inheritance all to each other, on the understanding between them that the survivor will give an inheritance to their stepchildren when they subsequently die. This may well happen, but there are no guarantees, because the surviving partner can change their Will at anytime.
Other couples choose to leave everything to their respective children and nothing to each other. However, unless you have sizeable wealth yourself, this can lead the surviving partner short-changed without sufficient assets to tide them over in their old age and a very strong chance of succeeding in an estate claim.
Avoiding an estate claim
Blended family situations are the largest incidence of estate claims in Australia, because of the competing interests for your inheritance between your current partner, children of previous relationships and step-children. Estate claims are relatively easy to commence and often the legal costs of them (which are typically very high) are funded by your estate, reducing the inheritance available and changing your intentions on who you wished to benefit. A simple Will is not sufficient and there are a number of strategies that can be adopted to minimise the risk of claim.
Keep Your Family Harmonious
Estate disputes not only cost money, they often fracture families for generations. You can significantly reduce the risk of a claim by crafting a well thought through Estate Plan and thereby avoid significant cost and disharmony later. We are experts at estate planning strategies for blended families and can discuss with you a range of ideas and options to help you minimise the risk of a later claim. Many clients have said to us that they would have saved years of worry by coming to see us earlier.
We will walk you through your options at our first consultation and provide you with a fixed fee quote.
Services Tailored To You
Our unique ‘4 easy steps’ makes the process easy
Expert Estate Planning with Fixed Fees
Meet With Your Lawyer
Whether we meet virtually or face to face, we will listen, answer your questions, craft your estate plan and provide you with a fixed fee quote.
We’ll Keep You Updated
You will receive draft documents to review. You can discuss your plan with us at any time you want.
Final Document Meeting
We will go through all of your final documents together to ensure the plan is exactly what you want.
"My partner and I had been considering preparing our wills and estate for some time, we were expecting the process to be a big ordeal that would require a lot of time and our attention, being busy, we put it off several times. Our only desire was to reduce any confusion for our dependants and family upon our death and to formalise this with as little effort as possible! Due to the complexities involved within a blended family environment (7 children), it was suggested we meet with Estate First Lawyers. What a great recommendation that was, right from the first meeting (we only met on two occasions) we felt comfortable and confident that our specific wishes were understood, our lawyer provided us with some very useful advice given our specific scenario and was able to accommodate all of our requests. The team were very efficient and extremely accurate with regard to all communications and formal documentation that was created. I am pleased to say that we have achieved our objective and now have a complete set of documents allowing us peace of mind to get on with living, knowing that there will be no confusion throughout the difficult time that follows death. I would not hesitate to recommend Estate First Lawyers."
"Excellent grasp of our particular circumstances and totally professional response. Positive interpersonal communication matched the needs of the various members of our family resulting in reassurance that our needs and wishes would be observed and well-managed in the future."
"All documentation is thoroughly well prepared and presented. All aspects of my estate were respected and reflected clearly in the documentation. Very comfortable with the presentations and meetings. Nothing was omitted, and everything covered in fine detail. The team are very thorough and very professional. I could not have asked for a better team to represent my wishes and estate."