Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign.
As blended families become more common and our assets become increasingly complex, it is essential to have confidence that your estate will be distributed in accordance with your wishes. You should review your Will every couple of years, or whenever the circumstances of a person mentioned in your WWill changes, for example they predecease you, become bankrupt or are vulnerable.
If you do not have a Will when you pass away, your estate will be distributed according to a formula prescribed by the Succession Act (Qld) 1981. This may mean that your estate is not distributed in the way you had intended, someone you do not know is appointed as your executor or some particular assets do not go to the persons you had intended.
Another equally important estate planning document is an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). Whilst a Will operates on your death, this document operates during your lifetime. An EPA enables you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf when you are not able to make those decisions for yourself. Your attorney can make financial decisions for you (to commence at a time nominated by you) and/or personal or health decisions. Your attorney can only make personal or health decisions on your behalf when you no longer have capacity to make those decisions for yourself. As there are a number of considerations when completing this document and the nature of the power you are giving is extremely powerful, it is essential to obtain legal advice.
To complete your estate planning, you may also consider an Advance Health Directive (“AHD”). This document enables you to give directions to your loved ones and medical practitioners about the types of care you would like to receive in your final days. If you have particular wishes, then we strongly recommend you contact us to prepare your AHD. You will also need to see your doctor who will assist you in explaining the medical terminology to you.
You may think that ‘I’m too young’ to worry about these types of arrangements. This is simply not correct.
Come and see us to discuss your estate planning needs.