No such thing as a free Will

Who can resist an offer? It is tempting to hear the offering of professional executors to have a will prepared for you entirely free of charge.
At first sight this seems a better deal than having to pay a solicitor to draw up a will for you. But it’s worth asking about the conditions applying to the “free service”. When all is revealed the true cost may be higher than you think.

How can I draw up a will?
Whilst a will can be drawn up by anyone and can be any length you desire, from a few lines to many pages, it is best to use a solicitor to draw up a will. This involved payment of a fee, which solicitors will quote in advance. The amount charged is always significant compared to the value of the Will to you and your family.
Trustee companies (including the Public Trustee) will draw up wills free of charge but only if they are appointed executor. This appointment gives them the right to charge fees when administering the estate.

How much does an executor charge?
If you appoint a spouse, a family member or a close trusted friend, you can usually expect your estate will be wound up without any more expense than the cost of employing a solicitor to look after the legal aspects.
Professional executors, however, charge a commission for their services, set by statute at a maximum of 4.25% of capital and 5.25% of income.
Nowadays, it does not take many assets to build an estate worth $200,000.  Using simple arithmetic, applying the percentage rates quoted above, will prove that it can be quite costly to name a trustee company as your executor (especially where legal costs are charged in addition to the executor’s fees). The very modest saving in will drafting fees can be well and truly seen as false economy.

A role for the trustee company
All this is not to say that trustee companies do not have an important and worthwhile role to play.
In complex estates or where there is discord within the family or where the estate has to be administered over a length of time (perhaps because minors are beneficiaries, or a life estate is involved) the employment of an independent, immortal executor may be the sensible choice.
What matters is that the choice of executor should be an informed one as should be the case with every purchasing decision. All trustee companies publish a scale of charges and each testator should weigh the respective advantages and disadvantages of nominating a professional executor.

 What does as executor do?
The main duties of an executor are:
•    To be responsible for the burial or cremation of the deceased’s body;
•    To prove the will (that is, to obtain a grant of probate of the will demonstrating to all the world that the executor named in the will, only that person, may be deal with the deceased’s assets);
•    To collect the debts owing to the estate;
•    To claim the life insurance proceeds and money in financial institutions.
•    To convert non-cash assets into cash for distribution (subject to the exact terms of the will);
•    To collect investment income;
•    To lodge income tax returns and pay tax (if applicable);
•    To pay in the proper order, all the other debts owing by the estate;
•    To protect and insure the assets of the estate;
•    To administer any trust set up under the will;
•    To pay any specific legacies and
•    To distribute the remainder of the estate.

It is a good idea to discuss your wishes for the administration of your estate with your executor and to plan for the future care and well-being of minor children in the event of an untimely death.

The importance of making a will
The worth of a properly drawn up will cannot be over emphasised. It will ensure that your wishes for the disposal of your assets are carried out when you are gone.
People often take great pains to arrange their affairs to minimise tax or to maximise social security benefits.
They are happy to pay premiums to insure earthly possessions against loss.

How absurd then it would be to overlook making a proper will with professional help when such a relatively simple and inexpensive act can help to protect the financial security of loved ones.

Along with death and taxes, there is another certainty of life – you get what you pay for.

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Top 5 reasons people are flocking to the Central Coast

Top 5 reasons people are flocking to the Central Coast to Live, Work, and Play!


The Central Coast NSW, previously renowned as a holiday destination and retirement haven, is evolving and changing into an idyllic coastal paradise that more people and businesses are calling home.

Here are five excellent reasons why the Central Coast is the perfect place to Live, Work and Play:

1. Perfectly Positioned

The Central Coast is situated halfway between Sydney and Newcastle, making both cities accessible for business and leisure. The M1 Pacific Motorway connects commuters traveling by car, currently being upgraded between Tuggerah and Doyalson to accommodate increased capacity. Trains also operate to the Central Coast from Sydney and Newcastle, departing approximately every 30mins during peak times. For some living on the Central Coast the area is considered to be a mere extension of each of these cities.



2. Affordability

A combination of historically low interest rates, investor interest, shortage of supply, and increased demand from growing populations within metropolitan areas such as Sydney, Newcastle and across Australia, has resulted in higher property prices for purchasers, and subsequently increased costs for renters. Additionally business are also feeling the impact from these trends, finding it difficult to remain profitable from increasing expenses to include rent and wages. This lack of affordability for both residence and businesses, is forcing them to search elsewhere in the hope of obtaining value for their money. The Central Coast is an area which could offer a solution to this dilemma, as the median house price in the northern part of the Central Coast is valued at around $500 000, compared to almost $1 million for a similar house, and $700 000 for a unit in most suburbs of Sydney.


3. Lifestyle

There are an increasing number of studies providing evidence, that a connection with nature makes us healthier and happier people. Interacting with environments which promote natural light, peacefulness, fresh air, and animals can improve our health and wellbeing. Within close proximity to each town and suburb, the Central Coast provides many opportunities for all people of varying ability to find their ideal way for making this connection. The coast-line consists of countless magnificent beaches and beautiful lakes for water recreation, state forests for bush walking, mountain biking, and adventure sports, and parks to catch up with family and friends, and picnics.


4. Education

The Central Coast offers an extensive range of education choices for people who have decided to move to the region. Child Care and Early Learning Centres, private schools, as well as selective and public schools are available, providing quality education to the differing needs of children. Tertiary education is available through TAFE, College, and the University of Newcastle (Central Coast) based at Ourimbah campus, allowing young adults to continue living on the Central Coast while studying and developing their skills, which can further enhance the regions resources and future capabilities.


5. Entertainment

Whether you like going to the local RSL Club, performing arts, cafés and contemporary restaurants, or watching a movie at the cinemas, the Central Coast offers an endless list of quality entertainment for people of all ages, tastes, and budgets. There is also no shortage of well-maintained golf courses, and many sporting options to keep you active. Central Coast Stadium is home to the Central Coast Mariners football team, and also hosts rugby league and rugby union fixtures on an adhoc basis, along with other social events.


Please tell us the reasons that make the Central Coast your chosen destination to Live, Work, and Play.

If you are an advocate of “The Coast”, please like and share with anyone considering it to be their next home.

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