Making a Will
Having a valid Will in place will ensure that when you die your estate will be distributed amongst your loved ones in line with your wishes.
If you don’t have a Will, your estate is managed by a person called an administrator. The administrator may be a family member but often a government Trustee will be appointed to administer your estate.
Without a Will, legislation will dictate how your assets will be distributed after your death and even who will look after your children, if they are still minors.
A Will can also be used to appoint a guardian to look after your children until they are old enough to look after themselves.
There are also certain times in your life when it is particularly important to make a Will if you do not already have one, or revise your existing one, such as:
- Marriage – as marriage revokes any pre-existing Will
- Divorce – Divorce does not automatically revoke an existing Will
- If you are in a defacto relationship
- If a person named in your Will dies or becomes incapacitated
- Purchase of a significant asset (such as a house)
- If you get involved in a new business
- If you change your mind about one of the beneficiaries
Husbands and wives need separate Wills. However, they can have the same terms but just in reverse hence the term ‘mirror’ wills.
Copies of Will
Will – Husband and Wife, Children and Testamentary Trust – more complex
Information on Wills
Making a Will – the Age September 30, 2004
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney gives you the power to choose a relative or friend to manage your lifestyle and financial affairs should you become incapacitated or if you develop a decision taking disability.
If you take this step while you are competent to do so, it will mean that you decide:
- who will make decisions on your behalf;
- what decisions they will make;
- who will manage your finances; and
- how your finances will be managed
The good thing about an Enduring Power of Attorney is that it endures beyond your loss of capacity, but it must be executed by you while you are absolutely competent to know what you are doing.
Copies of Enduring Power of Attorney forms that you can use
An Enduring Guardianship is a legal document in which you nominate a person(s) to make medical and living decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Preparing an Enduring Guardianship helps avoid the problems by providing clarity to your family, doctors and health care providers as to who they need to communicate with and obtain consent from.
You may authorise one or more persons to act as your guardian and you may require them to act jointly or seperately.
Copies of Enduring Guardianship forms that you can use