Wills, Estates, Powers of Attorney & Advance Care Directives
When it comes to putting your affairs in order, there is no time like the present. Sadly, too many people die or become incapacitated without doing so – usually because they just “didn’t find the time to get around to it”.
Remember, you could be involved in an accident tomorrow and you could leave your grieving loved ones with enormous and unnecessary problems to deal with.
There are three matters you need to consider:
- Making a Will. This covers what happens when you die and has two main purposes – to appoint the people who will take legal responsibility to deal with your estate (“the executors”);
- An Enduring Power of Attorney – this and the Advance Care Directive make up what some people refer to as a “Living Will” – because it takes effect when you are still alive and ceases to have effect when you die. An Enduring Power of Attorney gives another person or persons the power to deal with your legal affairs – in particular the financial side of things - and is usually put in place to cover the situation where you lose legal capacity through accident or illness;
- An Advance Care Directive appoints another person or persons (who are usually the same people who you appoint under the Enduring Power of Attorney) to deal with the areas that the Enduring Power of Attorney does not – its major use is in respect of medical treatment. (Prior to July 2014 you could also put in place an Enduring Power of Guardianship and/or a Medical Power of Attorney. Whilst you cannot make new versions of these documents, those prepared before that date remain valid.)
Some people think they can just use a home-made Will or other “off the shelf” documents - but the truth is that they can either be ineffective or, in some cases, be worse than not having any document at all.
In the case of Wills it can lead to enormous costs and delays in the administration of your estate.
More information on these topics can be found by clicking on the links below.
How much does it cost? That depends on what is required for your individual case but you can feel to ring us to obtain an idea of what the charges are likely to be.
And if you live in the southern or coastal suburbs, our Glenelg office will make coming to see us a lot easier for you. And if illness prevents you from coming in to see us, home appointments can be arranged.
When the sad day comes, and a loved one dies, we can ease the burden on you by assisting you with the legal issues that arise.
That may be in helping you in your role as executor of an Estate or it may be in advising in relation to your rights as a beneficiary.
Sadly, too often, badly drawn or poorly thought out Wills leave some people with less than what is fair. We know what your rights are and we can assist you to get a fairer outcome. A “No - Win, No – Fee” arrangement might be the best way to pursue such a claim and we offer a Free First Interview for you to get initial advice about your rights. Again, we suggest you click on the links below for some important information that will help you understand more about this area.
Our range of services includes:
- Testamentary and Protective Trusts
- Probate Applications
- Intestate Estates
- Administration of Estates
- Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Advance Care Directives
- Contested Wills
- Inheritance (Family Provision) Act claims
- Implied and Constructive Trusts
- Breach of Trust claims
Need some more information? Feel free to give us a call. It won’t cost you anything to have a chat to find out if we can help you.
Related Team Members
Christopher (John) Pearce