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Home | Blog | Estate Planning checklist for Blended Families Part 2

Part 2 – non-estate assets, EPOAs & AHDs

Continuing on from Part 1 of Estate Planning checklist for Blended Families last month where we looked at wills for the blended family, we have also prepared some quick checklists for the remaining parts of a comprehensive estate plan.

Other non-estate assets

It is possible to protect family members that may be left vulnerable to future changes in your spouses will through the use of some common non-estate assets. Essentially these strategies prevent particular assets from coming into your estate, and allows them to be dealt with outside of the terms of your will.

  • Superannuation – A common strategy for blended families is to nominate the person/s you think may be vulnerable to miss out in any subsequent will changes after your passing, as beneficiary to your superannuation.
  • Life Insurance – In the same way as above, a life insurance policy can state who is to benefit from the policy, without recourse to your will.
  • Inter-vivos gifts – Subject to possible tax consequences, another option is to consider gifting or transferring for value, certain assets to the intended beneficiary before you pass away.

EPOAs

Enduring Powers of Attorney are important to protect yourself in the event you lose capacity to make your own decisions and also serve as an invaluable tool for your family to manage the decision making process if you should lose capacity. Selecting appropriate attorney’s can be difficult, especially within a blended family.

Who is my EPOA?

Are they still appropriate? Where multiple persons are likely to hold a view that they know what “you would have wanted”, a great way to minimise conflict around making decisions is to appoint more than one attorney and have them act together.

Consider selecting a person/s that makes decisions most in line with your own views and values.

  • Do I know what types of decisions my Attorney can make?
  • Have I married/divorced/separated since I last completed this document?
  • Be as clear and precise as possible to avoid misunderstandings
  • Have I stored my original somewhere safe? Is a copy of the document easily accessible to my family?

Advanced Health Directive

The final piece to complete your estate plan is to set out clearly, your wishes with respect to particular medical procedures. This document needs to be completed in consultation with your treating doctor in the first instance. Once again, the value of this document is having your voice heard if your capacity to speak is lost. It avoids arguments between family members trying to make decisions for you, if you have clearly set your preferences beforehand.

  • Do I want to be resuscitated in certain situations?
  • Do I want to be kept on life support?
  • Do I consent to blood transfusions?
  • Be as clear and precise as possible to avoid misunderstandings
  • Is a copy of the document easily accessible to my treating doctor?

Turner Freeman Lawyers – Wills & Estates specialists

To ensure your family is protected, whatever it may look like, it is important to seek professional advice about your specific circumstances. To discuss your estate planning needs or to arrange your appointment to make/ review your estate plan, please do not hesitate to contact Turner Freeman Lawyers Wills and Estates Team on (07) 3025 9000. Our Queensland offices are in BrisbaneLoganNorth Lakes, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Cairns.

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