Wills & Estates

The FOUR DOCUMENTS Every Australian Adult Should Have

1. A Will

Where there’s a Will there’s a way to provide for your loved ones and avoid a family dispute.
Every responsible Australia over the age of 18 is advised to think seriously about making a Will because we cannot predict when we will die.

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document that describes how your belongings and assets (including property, money, investments, jellery etc) are to be distributed after your death.
A will can be altered if your situation changes. Some examples would be in: marriage, divorce, a change of address, one of your beneficiaries goes bankrupt, an inheritance or a big win on Lotto!

2. An Enduring Power of Attorney

So you keep control of your assets when you can’t look after them yourself.
If you were unable to handle your own financial affairs because of something like illness, car accident or travel overseas, you would need to appoint a trusted person to handle could act for you.

What is a Power of Attorney?

This is a document which allows someone else to look after your financial affairs and to act on your behalf.
The powers can be general, ongoing or only for a specific amount of time.

For example, if you are abroad during the time your house is on the market, your Power of Attorney would detail your instruction and allow the appointed person to handle the sale.
Another example would be for a couple to give each other a Power of Attorney in case one becomes very ill or incapacitated for some reason. (eg. mental illness like dementia).

The person you appoint may be a family member, a trusted friend, or someone like a solicitor. however you may also change or cancel your Power of Attorney at anytime.

Your Attorney has the same powers as you do over your assets and money, so it is very important that your Power of Attorney is carefully prepared so your attorney can do what you intend them to do.

We would be happy to advise you about preparing a Power or Attorney.

3. Enduring Guardianship

Appointing an enduring guardian allows a loved one or another trusted person to protect you when you can’t. This guardian is someone you choose to make lifestyle and health decisions for you when you are not capable of doing this yourself. This differs from an Enduring Power of Attorney which is specifically for financial control.

4. A Living Will (Advanced Health Directive),

This allows you to state your wishes on vital health issues. We would all like to ensure that our loved ones know what we beleive and what we want when we are unable to make the choice ourselves, such as whether we go into a Nursing Home, which doctor we go to, what medical treatment we receive.

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will outlines your wishes. It documents whether you want to die peacefully at home and under what circumstances you would wish to be transferred to a Nursing Home or hospital.

A Living Will can determine what medicatel treatment you want if any should you:

  • have a irreversible illness, disease or injury
  • acquire a disability which means that you could be permanently dependent on others for care.
  • have a terminal condition.
  • require artificially invasive medical procedures to prolong life.
  • want to die as naturally and as comfortably as possible free of pain.
  • sustain brain damage but remain alive and totally dependent due to profound neurological impairment.
  • require resuscitation or rehabilition;
  • choose to donate any organs for reaserch or to benefit another person.

Planning your future

Planning for your future can seem a huge task. Ensuring you have enough money to live a comfortable retirement, making sure you will be taken care of when you can no longer care for yourself and making arrangements for transferring your assets on to the next generation when you pass on are all part of the Estate Planning picture.

Estate planning process consists of:

  • how you hold assets
  • superannuation nominations, particularly binding nominations
  • life insurance policies
  • pensions and other entitlements
  • capital gains tax implications
  • consideration of the financial and personal position of your beneficiaries
  • taxation effects on your beneficiaries.

“A large part of our business involves helping clients planning their future, through the remainder of their working lives, retirement and beyond”.

We can assist you in preparing the necessary documents such as wills and powers of attorney to ensure your wishes are carried out and your benefactors are not disadvantaged as well as referring you to financial advisors who will help you to plan your financial security.