Wills & Powers of Attorney
Everyone knows the importance of making a Will to ensure that your assets are distributed to the persons you wish to receive them. It is equally important that you have a Power of Attorney to ensure that, if you become disabled through an accident or illness, you have appointed an attorney who can make decisions on your behalf.
The most commonly used Power of Attorney is an enduring one which continues or "endures" even if you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.
An Enduring Power of Attorney does not permit your attorney to decide to withdraw or withhold life saving measures. This can only be done under an Advanced Health Directive which expands the powers given under an Enduring Power of Attorney to special health matters.
If you wish to authorise someone to act for you in a particular transaction you can do this by signing a General Power of Attorney.
Whatever type of Power of Attorney you may be considering Grant & Simpson can advise you on which is most appropriate for your circumstances.
It is important that everyone makes a Will to ensure that their assets are distributed to the persons they wish to benefit. If you do not have a Will when you die your estate will be distributed in accordance with a formula set out in legislation, which may be opposite to what you want.
Similarly, if you make a Will yourself and it does not comply with the law it could be invalid and the situation would then be the same as if you had not made a Will.
This is why it is essential that you obtain proper advice, not only as to how to word your Will to ensure the persons you want to benefit do so, but also as to the taxation and stamp duty consequences of the effects of your Will. We have the qualifications and expertise to provide this advice.
Estate planning involves more than a Will. Assets outside of your personal name may need to be considered separately. For example – family trusts, self-managed superannuation funds, partnerships etc. estate planning in our modern age is becoming more complicated and involves more than making a valid Will.
For further advice on your estate planning please contact John Siganto - Partner or Bianca White - Lawyer on 07 4999 2000 for further advice.