Plan for the future
Estate planning is an important step in the right direction to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of any unforeseeable circumstances. By preparing for the future, you have taken an important step towards protecting your hard earned assets and those you love.
A Will is an important legal document that sets out how you wish to distribute your assets on your death.
Your Will does a number of things including:
- appointing your executor. Your executor has an important job. On your death, they need to protect all your assets, apply for a grant of probate (which is usually required), ensure all your debts and taxes are paid, then distribute your estate in accordance with your Will. Generally couples will appoint each other as executor and if they have adult children, they will appoint their children as substitute executors. We can advise you on the appointment of executors;
- making gifts of specific items to named beneficiaries. For example, you might like to leave your car or sentimental items to one or more of your children;
- if asset protection is important to you, your Will can include testamentary trusts or provide the survivor of a couple a right to continue to live in the family home. We will discuss these options with you if protecting your assets is important to you;
- the remainder of your assets is referred to as the residue of your estate and your Will sets out who is to receive the residue of your estate;
- if you do not have a Will, your wishes cannot be achieved. If you die without a Will, the intestacy laws will apply and the law decides who receives your assets. This is not an ideal outcome. You may think you do not have any assets but think about how much you have in superannuation and life insurance either held in your superannuation fund or owned by you – it adds up!
What happens if you suffer a loss of mental capacity?
Loss of mental capacity can be as a result of Dementia, Alzheimer’s, a car accident or other accident – it is not only older people who may suffer a loss of mental capacity.
What will happen if you:
- had a car accident which caused a brain injury resulting in you losing your mental capacity;
- your home is in the joint names of you and your partner;
- some investments are in your name;
- you have superannuation,
and you have not appointed anyone to look after your financial affairs or make medical and personal decisions for you?
In short nothing will happen until an application is made by your partner or someone close to you to the NSW Civil and Administration Tribunal to be appointed to make financial and/or medical and personal decisions on your behalf. Worse still, those decisions may end up being made by the NSW Trustee and Guardian. Is this what you want?
If not, we will provide advice to you and prepare the documents to appoint those people you want and trust to make financial and/or medical and personal decisions.
It is important to appoint an attorney to make financial decisions and an enduring guardian to make medical and personal decisions on your behalf if you do suffer a loss of mental capacity.
Now is the time to Plan. Don’t leave it until it is too late!
Email JPM Legal at [email protected]
Call JPM Legal on (02) 4629 8100
Come to JPM Legal at Suite 6/121 Queen Street Campbelltown 2560