Anyone with a family knows how much they want to take care of those close to them. But it can be difficult to think about and plan for the end of life.
This is only natural. But it is important to do everything possible to ensure your loved ones are taken care of. The last thing anyone wants is for the lack of a Will or the lack of an up to date Will to lead to financial loss and emotional difficulties for their families.
Why do a Will?
A Will document in simple terms outlines who will receive your property after death. If you do not have a Will, then your property is distributed according to the intestacy rules in the NSW Succession Act. While these rules try to provide for your immediate family, they cannot take the place of a valid Will.
In a nutshell, if you have no Will, you do not get to make any choices about your property and who it will go to after death.
Thomas Adams Solicitors prepare a basic Will for an all-up cost of $330.00, or basic Wills for couples for an all-up cost of $440.00.
If you do not have a Will, your property still passes to your immediate family.
The rules of intestate distribution are set out in the NSW Succession Act. Who gets what depends on whether you are married or in a de facto relationship, have children, brothers or sisters, or parents who survive you.
But essentially if you die without a valid Will, your ability to choose who gets what is lost.
Wills & Estate Planning
Important decisions in making a will include who you choose to be your executor.
The executor is the person or body appointed by you to take care of your estate property. This is a very important role and you should choose someone you can rely on. Sometimes people appoint a trust company like the Public Trustee (NSW), for that additional security.
And of course most importantly you must decide how you leave your property. Sometimes this is an easy decision. Most people who are married or in a long term relationship with children simply leave their property to one another and then on to their children. But modern families are not all like that.
Those who might be in long term relationships and have children to a former partner, or who have dependant adult children with disabilities have to make more complex decisions about their property and assets. Similarly if you have significant assets, you may approach their distribution in a more complex fashion.
Sometimes you may consider leaving property in trust for some of your family. A trust means that they cannot access the property directly, but that someone else takes care of it for them. A trust is a valuable means of protecting assets.
Whatever your situation, nothing beats obtaining some good advice about how to best protect and look after your family.
Powers of Attorney & Guardianship Appointment
It is usually devastating to a family when a loved one experiences a loss of capacity of any kind.
But while this can often occur as a result of accident, illness or just the passage of time, the simple truth is that often people do not have in place any effective and legally valid plans to cope. This can make the task a lot harder for the family, who maybe left to apply to theGuardianship Tribunal for the authority to care for their loved one.
Having a valid and enduring Power of Attorney prepared which authorises someone to sign documents and enter into legally binding transactions can be invaluable. Equally the appointment of a legal Guardian, someone who can make decisions about where you might live, or give consent to medical treatment can be invaluable.
Living Wills or Advanced Health Care Directives
Living Wills or Advanced Health Care Directives are a written expression of your wishes in the event of a particular set of circumstances.
These circumstances are defined in the document, but generally would relate to some illness or injury and your wishes regarding certain types of treatment. For example, if you were suffering from a terminal illness, and in certain circumstances did not wish to be revived, you may specify this wish in such a document.
Of course while you retain capacity and the ability to communicate you can always express your wishes directly to your family and any doctor. But if you have lost either capacity or the ability to communicate, a Living Will or Advanced Health Care Directive can express those wishes on your behalf.
For more information take a look at this helpful website:
At Thomas Adams Solicitors we are sympathetic to the kinds of issues that can arise and able to advise as to what you might do to best take care of your loved ones. We are available for out of office consultations and hospital visits.
Call now to arrange an appointment to discuss your situation and see what we can do for you.