Value of a legal Will, Powers of Attorney, Testamentary Discretionary Trust (TDT) and Advance Health Directive (AHD)
A well prepared and executed estate plan can not only save your estate unnecessary costs in the future but can also save your loved ones from unnecessary stress after your death.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process in which you discuss with a legal practitioner what you want to happen with your estate (your assets) on your death. It is a plan which involves you considering who you want to be executor of your estate (the person in charge of your Will), who you want to benefit from your estate, your funeral wishes and who you want to look after your financial and personal/health matters if you were to lose capacity during your lifetime, for example by way of dementia or stroke.
Effective estate planning ensures your assets are protected and distributed to the right people according to your wishes. Your Will is one of the vital documents in this process.
Why do I need a Will?
A Will is a legal document that directs how your assets should be distributed and appoints guardians of any children. It appoints an executor to oversee this process. A properly drafted, up-to-date Will is the only way that you can be sure your assets will be dealt with as you wish when you die.
If you pass away and do not leave a valid Will, your estate will be distributed in accordance with strict rules dictated by legislation, which operate without any regard to what your personal preferences may have been. It can also add significant cost and delay to the administration of your estate.
Having a Will relieves your loved ones of this burden and ensures that your loved ones are placed in the best possible position in the event of your death.
Types of Powers of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) is another important document in estate planning. It is one of the most powerful documents you will ever sign, as it is a document which will affect you during your lifetime. However your Will does not come in force until your death.
An EPOA enables you to decide who will make financial and/or health decisions for you if you lose capacity.
It is a legal document in which the Principal (you, the person making the Power of Attorney) authorises another person (the Attorney) to act on your behalf in the management of your affairs. ‘Enduring’ simply means that the power continues even after you lose capacity to make decisions yourself.
Whilst D-I-Y Estate planning can save you money now, it can often add to the costs of your estate administration. The only way to ensure that your loved ones are protected is to obtain proper legal advice regarding your estate planning.
How can we help you?
For more information on our Estate Planning process such as preparing a Will, Powers of Attorney, Contesting or Challenging a Will, Trusts and Advance Health Directives (AHD), please call us on 1800 683 928 or via our online enquiry form.