Why You Need to Be Careful with Your Paperwork When Approaching End of Life

Posted on: 23 February 2017


How often have you heard the phrase – "that's not worth the paper it's written on." Frequently, that type of generic phrase is not accurate, but you could definitely say that one particular piece of paper is very valuable when it comes to your will and your estate. What is this, and why should you be so concerned?

Creating the Important Documents

Most people understand the importance of creating a will in order to make sure that the people who succeed them are taken care of and that their assets go where they want them. As they get to a later stage in life, many people will draw up this document, giving instructions to an executor and directions as to distribution. While it's very important to know where that document is, understanding that a lot of time can go by between its creation and the event, it's even more important to know where the documents are in relation to family trusts.

Develop a Trust, but Be Careful

Many families have a discretionary trust in Australia, as they are a fantastic investment vehicle. Within these trusts, you can put a number of significant assets that will be preserved in perpetuity. In other words, they will be free from any claims and can also enjoy a certain amount of tax saving. When these trusts are created, a very important document known as a "trust deed" is also developed. This particular document cannot easily be replaced and is not contained in any public registry in the country. If such a deed cannot be found at the appropriate time, disaster can await you.

Are Discretionary Trusts for You?

While discretionary trusts may not be appropriate in all cases, they are one of several different investment strategies available to those who want to look after their dependents. They may form part of an overall approach to the development of a will, and proper legal advice should be taken before that course of action is followed.

What You Should Do

Whenever important legal and financial documents are created and whenever a will is drawn up or modified, it should be placed somewhere accessible. Many people consider renting out a safety deposit box at the bank. In this way, these documents will always be accessible.

Alternatively, have a word with a probate lawyer to see how they can help in drafting crucial documents and giving you advice about their subsequent safekeeping.