I Need A Will
Making sure my loved ones get exactly what I want them to receive
Why have a will?
Most people understand the importance of having a Will, yet few take the time to arrange one or keep it updated with their changing personal circumstances.
A Will, as a legal document, reflects your wishes in relation to the appointment of Executors and Guardians for infant children or dependents. A Will also covers the distribution of your assets and any business interests. If you do not have a valid Will your assets are classified as ‘intestate’, or governed by Statute, and may not be dealt with quickly, simply or in accordance with your wishes. People you had no intention to provide for may benefit from your estate, whilst others might receive more or less than you would prefer. A Will is particularly important when there are complex family business interests to be distributed. A carefully planned and prepared Will can minimise the likelihood of a dispute or challenge by an unforeseen person to the way you have left your estate.
What is Power of Attorney?
Often there is more to consider than simply drafting a Will. What if for some reason you can’t attend to your everyday business matters, plan an extended holiday or suffer a prolonged spell in hospital? It can be a wise idea to appoint a trustworthy relative or friend to be your Attorney during such times. A formal legal document is required to appoint a Power of Attorney. This document must be signed by you, the “Principal”, and set out the specific powers the Attorney can carry out on your behalf. You may limit the Attorney to dealing only with specific business transactions, or you may delegate your authority to carry out any transaction which can be legally delegated pursuant to a General non-enduring Power of Attorney.
The widest and most useful document is an Enduring Power of Attorney Financial and Personal. It remains in force even if you suffer a severe accident causing brain damage, a stroke or gradually become senile. This Enduring Power of Attorney will allow your attorney to make both financial and personal decisions on your behalf. Financial decisions include by are not limited to lifestyle matters such as where you should live or your general healthcare and well-being. It is illegal for an Attorney to act contrary to your specific instructions or if you are unable to provide instructions they must legally act in your best interests.
You may also wish to consider appointing a Medical Agent pursuant to an Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment). The agent will only be permitted to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf when you are unable due to illness, brain injury or you are temporarily unconscious as a result of an accident or illness. It is important that you ensure that your agent fully understands your medical wishes as your agent can only refuse medical treatment that you would have considered unwarranted should you have been in a position to make such decision on your own.
Do you have a disability or know someone with a disability who needs assistance and support in making decisions. A Supportive Power of Attorney may be of assistance. A Supportive Power of Attorney allows a person with a disability to make their own decisions with the support of an Attorney who may assist in giving effect to or communicating the decision. The Supportive Power of Attorney is designed to give a person with a disability more freedom and independence in making their own decisions.