Role of a Wills and Estate Lawyer in Estate Planning

25 July 2018
 Categories: Law, Blog


A wills and estate lawyer is a lawyer that specializes in wills and estate law. As such his or her work revolves around preparing clients' affairs in preparation for death or mental illness. In reality, much of the work of wills and estate lawyers involves estate planning. This is the process of arranging for the management or disposal of a person's estate after they die.

If you would want to hire a wills and estate lawyer below is how he or she will help you in estate planning.

Estate Evaluation

The lawyer will help you in evaluating your total wealth and assets. Life insurance, retirement benefits, annuities and stocks are important considerations that you will have to make. The lawyer will assist you in deciding who is best suited to act as an executor in addition to determining the best method of asset distribution. 

Tax Planning

Although estates are not subject to inheritance tax in Australia, your estate may be subject to capital gains tax. Upon death, your tax returns and those of your estate will have to be submitted to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Such matters are critical during the estate planning process.


A wills and estate lawyer will assist in helping prepare estate planning documents. Apart from the will, you may need to establish a trust for your children. A trust refers to a legal arrangement in which the assets of a deceased person are held on behalf of a beneficiary for a specific period. Trusts are essential for children as they cannot handle and manage property at a young age. Another critical estate planning document in Australia is the Grant of Probate. This is the document that releases your property to the executor upon your death. The wills and estate lawyer helps the executor in obtaining the grant of probate from the court of law.

Deciding on the Best Estate Transfer Strategy

There are a variety of estate transfer strategies that you can utilize. A disclaimer plan, for instance, leaves all your assets to your spouse who will then share them out to beneficiaries. An outright bequest transfers the property directly to beneficiaries. Ultimately, the decision of how you want your estate transferred lies in your hands. You will, however, benefit from your lawyer's advice and wisdom.

The wills and estate lawyer is a critical component of the estate planning process. He or she helps in evaluating your property, tax planning, documentation, and deciding on an appropriate estate transfer strategy.