Something that many Australians dont think much about is estate planning. A current will is incredibly important, particularly if you have assets, debts and/or children. A major part of our advice regarding life insurance is that of an up to date will.
Depending on your personal circumstance will depend on the complexity of the will, but for most people it’s just a matter of nominating the correct entitlement for the correct beneficiary. We’ve enlisted the help of one of our trusted professionals from Andrew Frank, the founder of Frank Legal who gives some simple insights into estate planning.
Creating a will
Although will kits are available, it is recommended that anyone seeking to create a will consult a solicitor. This is because there are a range of formal requirements which must be met for a will to be valid. A solicitor has the responsibility to ensure that the gift you wish to make can be made and occurs successfully. For example, when property is left to two or more people as joint tenants or tenants in common the outcomes are significantly different if one or both of the persons die..
Also, careful drafting of the will may avoid former spouses, or defacto spouses making a claim on the Estate under theFamily Provision Act.
Further, there are formal requirements regarding the signing of a Will. It is suggested that this take place under the instructions of a solicitor. This minimizes the risks of the will being declared invalid.
It is important that a Will reflects a person’s current situation and wishes. Particular issues arise if a child suffers a form of handicap.
Your will should be reviewed at least every TWO years..
Other important instruments to consider:
It is recommended that clients also create an Enduring Guardianship and Enduring Power of Attorney. These instruments are effective whilst the person creating the instrument (the principal) is alive.
- An Enduring Guardianship enables the person appointed to make healthcare and lifestyle decisions on behalf of the principal.
- A Power of Attorney vests in the person appointed the responsibility to manage and deal with the financial assets of the principal.
The principal can impose a range of limitations on the power that can be exercised by the guardian and attorney.
If an Enduring Guardianship or Enduring Power of Attorney is created the appointment continues when principal loses capacity.
Consideration should also be given to establishing an Advanced Care Directive. This is also called a Living Will and it becomes effective when a person no longer has the capacity to give directions regarding their medical treatment.
To enlist the services of Andrew Frank and his experience in this area, please complete the following information, which will be sent confidentially to us at Jarickson. Alternatively, you can contact Andrew on (02) 9688 6023.
If you live in a state other than NSW, these matters can easily be handled over the phone.