Estate Planning Construction
Thinking about having a discussion with your loved ones about what you want to do with your belongings when you pass away, is not a pleasant thought.
However, not having a plan in place can be even scarier.
Formalising your wishes beforehand can save a lot of heartache when the time comes. Too often there are stories in the media about inheritances not going to the intended recipients.
In some cases, consultation with a professional may have avoided these messy situations.
The death of a family member is never a nice time for their loved ones. Not having a Will can make an already difficult time worse.
Every family dynamic is different and has its own challenges. Unfortunately, this can be intensified when dealing with the transfer of wealth upon death and can create huge issues for any beneficiaries.
Having a Will in place, which includes all of your wishes and belongings, will help minimise these potential issues.
As Financial Advisers, we are able to see the bigger picture in relation to your current assets and financial position, and how they can be dealt with upon your death.
We are able to help you formulate a Will that covers all of your possessions, and your wishes in relation to them. We will then be able to help guide your executor and beneficiaries through the process when the time comes.
Power of Attorney
Giving someone Power of Attorney enables them to act on your behalf whilst you are alive, as long as you still have legal capacity (the ability to make your own decisions).
This can be helpful when you need something signed and you are out of the country or working in remote areas and cannot easily get into town to do it yourself.
Powers of Attorney stop being effective when you revoke it, lose legal capacity and can no longer make your own decisions (for example, develop Alzheimer's), or pass away.
There are many options when it comes to Powers of Attorney, and it is best to speak to an adviser to determine which is best for your circumstances.
Advance Personal Plan
Much like the Power of Attorney, an Advance Personal Plan involves you appointing someone to make decisions on your behalf. The difference between the two is that an Advance Personal Plan only begins when you lose legal capacity (cannot make decisions for yourself), rather than ending at the time.
An Advance Personal Plan outlines your future health, financial and life choices, so in the event that you become unable to legally make decisions for yourself, the person you appointed to do so is aware of your wishes.
These plans can cover as much or as little as you wish and can include decisions about:
- Your finances
- Your future health decisions (medical professionals are legally bound to follow your instructions on treatment)
- Your lifestyle needs (such as where you live, what you want to wear or eat)
Letter of Wishes
A Letter of Wishes is a non-binding document which can accompany your Will and Attorney documents in the event of your passing.
The letter can say whatever you like, but generally they are used to outline your wishes in regards to your possessions, give the executor of your Will some guidance, or explain your reasons as to why you chose to leave certain things to certain people. They can also be useful for directing your executor where to find things, such as important documents in relation to your bank accounts, where your superannuation is, or a combination to the safe.