Concerningly, over 50% of Australians don’t have a Will or estate plan. Although it may seem overwhelming to appoint an Attorney to make decisions for you if you lose capacity or appoint a guardian of your children if you die while they are still young, without proper estate planning, your loved ones will be left uncertain about your wishes after you pass. Importantly, it may also mean that people are appointed who may not have been your choice or whose values don’t accord with yours.
Estate planning is for everyone
When you engage a Wills & Estate lawyer at WJM, we work with you to prepare key estate planning documents, including Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Medical Treatment Decision Makers.
A Will is a legal document that outlines the distribution of your estate. As part of your Will, you will appoint one or more executors to administer your estate. In your Will, you will determine the distribution of your estate and guardianship of minor children, if applicable.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to nominate one or more people to act on your behalf to make legal, financial and personal lifestyle decisions for you. It operates whilst you are alive and ends on your death. You can specify the scope of their authority and when the Enduring Power of Attorney would take effect.
However, it’s important to note that your attorney cannot make medical treatment decisions for you unless they are also your Medical Treatment Decision Maker.
Medical Treatment Decision Maker
Different to the Enduring Power of Attorney, a Medical Treatment Decision Maker is responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so.
Other legal documentation you may want to include in your estate planning
In addition to the essential estate planning documents aforementioned, there may be several other considerations you may want to consider.
- Business succession plan – For business owners, it’s crucial to incorporate business succession planning into your estate plan. This involves outlining strategies for a smooth ownership or management transfer.
- Letter of wishes – While a letter of wishes is not legally binding, it serves as additional guidance to your loved ones.
- Digital assets – In our digital age, it’s essential to consider your digital accounts and how you want them managed after your passing.
Experienced Wills & Estate lawyers here to help you
Taking the time to deal with your estate not only gives you peace of mind but it also helps your loved ones as well.
Whyte Just & Moore’s team of Wills & Estate lawyers will help get your affairs in order. Contact the WJM Wills & Estate team to start the estate planning process. Call 5222 2077 or email email@example.com to set up an appointment today.