Wills and Testamentary Trusts

We assist clients in preparing an effective will that is designed to protect their wealth and assets, and often includes the creation of testamentary trusts, in order to achieve the specific goals and needs of each and every client.

How we can help

  • Probate and Letters of Administration
  • Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship
  • Family Provision Claims


Considering that our clients have worked very hard to accumulate their wealth, it is important that any effective family wealth transition package includes a will document which outlines the intended posthumous transfer of wealth. An effective and comprehensive will ensures that our clients’ wishes are honoured and their families are protected. At SWS Lawyers, we understand the significance of preparing a precise and effective will, with the goal to minimise the potential for any future conflict.

Testamentary trusts are trusts created under a will and come into effect upon the grant of probate of the deceased’s will. The objectives of a testamentary trust generally include asset protection, potential taxation benefits and potential family law benefits. With a testamentary trust, the appointed trustee holds the legal title to the trust assets, manages the trust assets (estate) and distributes the trust assets for the benefit of a pool of potential beneficiaries subject to the terms of the testamentary trust as set out in the trust deed. The trustee is typically a family member, friend, or a professional appointed by the deceased, and the potential beneficiaries are usually family members, friends, or charitable organisations.

A testamentary trust can be discretionary or non-discretionary. The trustee of a discretionary trust has the power to decide how and when to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries, subject to the terms of the trust. Alternatively, a non-discretionary trust or protective trust has predetermined rules about how and when the assets are to be distributed. A testamentary trust can remain in effect for a specified period, or for a maximum of 80 years as set out in the Perpetuities Act 1984.

Testamentary trusts provide many benefits which include improved asset protection from risks such as divorce or bankruptcy, minimization of tax implications and superannuation considerations. A testamentary trust is not just a good solution for those with substantial assets or significant wealth. SWS Lawyers can prepare the necessary documents for a testamentary trust, which can result in significant tax savings, even for those clients with modest estates.

Their approach is always professional and delivered at a standard comparable to a capital city law firm. It is the clear strategic direction that has always impressed me about the SWS team.

-Director, Top 10 Australian Accounting Firm

We believe their ability to combine first rate legal expertise, commercial judgement and strong negotiating skills is rare amongst lawyers and provides us with a real competitive advantage in corporate transactions. We use SWS because of their ability, not their post code.

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The combination of rare legal expertise, commercial judgement and strong negotiating skills is rare amongst lawyers and provides us with a real competitive advantage in corporate transactions.

-Paul Valaire, Addcar

SWS has assisted with advice on securing and exercising complex property and commercial contractual rights and assisting with protracted contractual management and implementation. We value legal experts who can offer pragmatic and commercial legal solutions for our complicated matters. SWS Lawyers has consistently met these criteria.

-Leading AU/NZ Logistics Company

The team at SWS Lawyers have already showcased their professionalism, commitment, positive can-do attitude and insight into our needs and have a clear understanding of the disability sector.

-Garry West-Bail, Deaf Sports Australia

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