Wills & Estate planning
How we help.
We strongly advise against ‘homemade’ Wills. We have seen many incorrectly prepared Wills which have led to issues with distributing assets and confusion for the trustees. Incorrect drafting and execution of Wills can lead to challenges against the estate. Your Will can identify who your assets will go to, who the guardians of your children will be and any special bequests to charities or family members.
The correct preparation of a Will by a professional is a relatively inexpensive exercise when compared to the costs which can be incurred in Court proceedings as a result or Family Court proceedings as a result of poorly crafted and incorrectly executed Wills. If you die without a Will, then greater cost is incurred in dealing with your estate.
If you wish to have a Will, it is essential that you take advice from us. We can then prepare the appropriate document for you, and oversee the execution of it.
Enduring powers of attorney (EPOA)
Your Will does not activate until you pass away. Therefore, an EPOA is an important document, which appoints trusted persons to look after your assets and to take responsibility for your care, in the event that you should lose your mental faculties. Everyone should complete a set of EPOAs. They are inexpensive when compared to the cost your relatives will incur, if they need to obtain court orders to take control of your affairs.
When you pass away, your executors or administrators will need assistance to complete the formal and practical administration of your estate. Hammonds Law have a wealth of experience and expertise in such matters. Our role is to make formal applications to the High Court for Probate or Letters of Administration to allow the executors to carry out their duties. We deal with all estate property, all financial and banking institutions, and we attend to the distribution of the estate in accordance with the requirements of the law and in accordance with the testator’s instructions in the Will. We do this as urgently as the law allows and at the lowest possible cost.
Memorandum of wishes
If your assets are held in trust, you may wish to give direction to your trustees or descendants on how certain assets should be dealt with, and the priority which should be accorded to the needs of your respective surviving relatives. Such non-binding directions should be recorded in a properly prepared memorandum. We are happy to assist with this, and can provide some helpful suggestions of matters to be included in such a document.
Relationship property agreements
You and your husband, wife or partner may wish to identify, at the commencement of, during, or at the end of a relationship, whether certain property is to be shared or not shared between you. This is particularly important if this is a second relationship for either of you, and even more so, if children and stepchildren are involved. Your intentions can be recorded in a legally binding document, but it must be prepared by a lawyer, and your signatures must be witnessed and certified by lawyers. Otherwise, any agreement is not binding. We can assist you in addressing all of the issues, and in preparing the document in the proper form. We can also arrange for signing and certification.