What is Estate Planning?
Creating a Will
Working closely with an attorney to establish and revise your will is recommended.
Without a Will
The will’s contents
A will usually contains the following items:
- Designation of an executor
- Who is responsible for carrying out the terms of the will.
- Beneficiaries – people who will inherit the assets.
- How-to instructions
Assigning a power of attorney
- General power of attorney
- Medical power of attorney
- Enduring power of attorney
A general power of attorney allows you (the principal) to select someone you trust (an attorney) to make financial decisions for you while you are unable to make such decisions yourself.
A medical power of attorney, also known as a healthcare proxy, appoints someone to make medical decisions for you if you lose mental capacity. Your agent is the person you pick to make health-care choices on your behalf when you are unable to.
Any competent adult can act as your agent, but some states have restrictions: your physician or health care provider; an employee of your physician or health care provider (unless the employee is a relative); your residential health care provider (a nursing home, for example); and an employee of your residential health care provider (unless the employee is your relative). In some places, if someone has any of the aforementioned designations, they are unable to act as your agent for the purposes of a medical power of attorney.
An adult can make an enduring power of attorney authorising a specific person or individual/s to make decisions for them as long as they have the mental capacity to do so.
As long as they have the necessary decision-making capacity, an adult can withdraw an enduring power of attorney and create a new enduring power of attorney at any time.
Under an enduring power of attorney, the attorney can make judgments regarding personal affairs during any or all of the adult’s periods of incapacity for the matter, but not otherwise.
Under an enduring power of attorney, the attorney can exercise the right to make financial decisions at any time or in any condition.
Creating a testamentary trust
Where to find an Estate planning lawyer
Finding a great estate planning lawyer is easy with the Australian Lawyers Directory. By simply putting in your postcode, you will find a list of accredited estate planning lawyers to choose from that are in your local area.
Estate Planning Checklist
It’s important to start arranging your estate now in order to safeguard yourself and your loved ones. While a will is one component, there are other assets that your will does not cover by default. As a result, we’ve compiled an estate planning checklist for Australian residents to guarantee you’re protected.
You can get our FREE Estate planning checklist here.
Where Is the Safest Place to Store Estate Planning Documents?
Download Your FREE Copy Of Our Estate Planning Guide
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