Estate Planning – Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail


When people think of estate planning, the idea of wealthy families fighting over millions in inheritance comes to mind. However, in reality, estate planning is not only for the wealthy but is important for all adults.

Having a solid estate plan in place will ensure loved ones are taken care of and avoid those nasty spates between children.


The most important document to have prepared as part of an estate plan is a will. Our Estate Lawyers can assist with the preparation of all types of wills whether they be simple or complex . Our wills article provides a breakdown on the preparation of wills.

If you have a will check the date on it. Is it still relevant? Does it accurately reflect your current circumstances and wishes both now and into the future?

Noel Whittaker, distinguished and renowned author (and good friend and client of this firm) has written an excellent article on this very subject and we recommend you read it on his website. 

Enduring Power of Attorney

The second most important document to prepare as part of the estate plan is an enduring power of attorney. An enduring power of attorney will give another person the power to make decisions on your behalf whether it be financial, health or both. The power of attorney can be enacted immediately, upon a certain event (such as loss of capacity) or if you are absent (such as overseas).

Having a properly drafted enduring power of attorney is critical for everyone but especially those in business, in ill-health, elderly, whose affairs are complicated, or who own a self-managed superannuation fund.

Advance Health Directive 

If a person is unable to make decisions regarding their health, an advance health directive allows a nominated person to make decisions regarding healthcare. An advance health directive sets out all the instructions regarding a person’s health care. An advanced health directive is imperative for those who are at the end-of-life stage, undergoing major surgery with little prospects of recovery or are suffering long term health issues.

Binding Death Nomination 

A binding death nomination is submitted to an individual’s superannuation fund notifying the trustee who they would like the balance of their superannuation to be paid to upon their death. The benefit of completing a binding death nomination form is to ensure the balance of any super funds go to a specific person or persons.

If you don’t have a BDN then the trustee of your fund will decide who gets your super and that may not be the person you wanted!

If you have a BDN is it current because if it’s not the person named will receive your super.

If you are reading this article and have not started your estate planning journey, contact one of our friendly Estate Lawyers on 07 3808 7777 or to start the process.

John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin

Principal Director
Adele Anthony

Adele Anthony

Special Counsel