Planning for your family after you’re gone is one of the most important things you can do. Planning for illness is also incredibly important. Having a Will, Power of Attorney and Advanced Care Directive can make things easier for your family as they explain what you want in the case of illness and/or death.
A Will is a legal document that states how you wish for your assets to be distributed following your death. It will state who is responsible for that task which is called administering the estate.
A Will is one of the most important documents you will ever create as it protects your assets and enables you to decide to whom they are bequeathed whether it be your family, friends and/or charities.
Many people try to draft their own Wills however this is dangerous. If a Will is not valid it will mean that your family will have to make difficult decisions for you or, if disputes arise, the State may have to intervene.
We can help by advising you as to Estate Law in general, drafting your Will and minimizing the chance that your Will may be contested and subject to litigation.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a formal document giving another person the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf, for example, paying your bills and taxes, selling or renting your home, using your income to pay for your needs or invest your money.
There are 2 types of Powers of Attorney.
A General Power of Attorney relates to a specific period or event, such as if you’re going overseas and need someone to act for you. That power does not extend if you lose capacity.
An Enduring Power of Attorney continues if you loose capacity.
A person loses capacity if they cannot understand the nature and effect of a decision, if they are unable to freely and voluntarily make the decision and/or if they are unable to communicate the decision in some way.
Advanced Care Directives
An Advanced Care Directive (ACD) is a new document that replaced the old Power of Guardianship and Medical Power of Attorney.
An ACD records lifestyle and care directions for your family, for example, future health care and life support decisions, dental care, personal affairs including residential and accommodation arrangements. Your lawyer will explain the ACD to you and then you will be required to complete the document. The ACD needs to be witnessed by your lawyer.