A well documented, comprehensive estate plan may encompasses a Will, Superannuation Binding Death Benefit Nomination, Enduring Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) and Advanced Health Care Directive.
If you do not have these documents in place you have no control over who will benefit from your estate or who will care for you in the event that you become incapacitated.
The loss of a loved one is extremely difficult for those left behind, even more so if you die without a Will in place. Having a current, valid Will in place alleviates additional stress for your family and loved ones as well as ensuring that your assets are distributed to your beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes at the time of your death.
A Will allows you to appoint an executor to administer your estate as well as allowing you to appoint a guardian to care for any minor children. A well drafted Will also enables you to make provision for the control of any Family Trusts or companies that you may currently control.
We work with you to discuss your needs and requirements in respect to your Will. We discuss your personal circumstances together with what you would like to happen to your assets when you are no longer here, subsequent to which, we offer our advice on how best document what you wish to achieve.
Our Wills range from simple Wills to more complex Wills that make provision for Testamentary Trusts for beneficiaries as well as control of Family Trust and other Trust and company assets. We also have extensive experience in drafting Wills where parents wish to make provision for children who may be disabled or have a dependency issue so that the children receive the benefits of their inheritance but do not actually control it.
It is important to note that if you do not have a current, valid Will in place at the time of your death your assets are dealt with in accordance with the intestacy provisions and your assets may prospectively end up with beneficiaries who you would not wish to receive your assets.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to make legal, financial and personal decisions on your behalf. You may specify when this document is to operate. You may select for it to commence operation immediately for financial and legal decisions or you may determine that it will come into operation when you are no longer physically to managing your own affairs or become incapacitated. You may also appoint one or more persons to act as your attorney.
Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment)
A Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated.
Advanced Health Care Directives
Every adult with capacity, has a right to accept or refuse medical treatment. The Advanced Heath Care Directive is a document that sets out your preferences in the event that you need medical treatment in the future. It encompasses your requests in respect to matters such as artificial respiration and how far treatment should go in the event of a terminal or incurable illness.
Death Benefit Nominations
There is a common misconception that your superannuation forms part of your Will. Your superannuation is actually dealt within a separate document called a Death Benefit Nomination. On occasion it may also be referred to by another name, dependant on the Superannuation Fund Trust Deed of the Superannuation Fund in which you are a member. It is important that you have a current, valid Binding Death Benefit Nomination in place otherwise it is up to the Trustee of your Superannuation Fund where they pay your superannuation.
We have extensive experience and expertise in assisting clients with their estate planning matters and look forward to assisting you in putting in place a comprehensive estate plan for you and your family.