WILLS & ENDURING POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Why Do I Need A Will?
Preparing a will means that you stay in control. If you die without a legal will, the Succession Act legislates how your assets will be distributed, with all costs coming out of your estate. This means that if you die your spouse will have to share your estate with your children (if you have any). To avoid losing control of how your estate is distributed, you should ensure that your will is always current. This is particularly important when selling or purchasing property and particularly when getting married and divorced or with the arrival of children and in a blended family situation.
Why Do I Need An Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) does not mean that you lose control! Instead, an EPA gives someone that you trust, perhaps your partner or child, the authority to make decisions for you when you are unable to make them for yourself. If you do not have an EPA, your family or friends may have to endure a process of investigation and possibly a hearing through the legal system to decide whether it is necessary to appoint you a Guardian (for health & lifestyle decisions) or an Administrator (for financial decisions). This process is lengthy, complicated and expensive, and you have no say in who gets appointed to be your Guardian or Administrator.
Another benefit of having an EPA is that you decide whether your EPA comes into effect immediately, or at some future point in time. We can explain this to you.
ADVANCED HEALTH DIRECTIVES
An Advanced Health Directive puts you in complete control of your life when you are hospitalised in a terminal state. It directs what treatment you do and do not want to receive. The document is signed by your local GP who will have discussed the matter with you to ensure that you fully understand the conditions. It has an in built Power of Attorney in it so that someone can make the decision on your behalf should any further treatment not be an option.