Estate planning means making arrangements for your affairs in the event that you are incapacitated or pass away, to ensure that your personal and financial matters are in order. Estate planning includes appointing an enduring power of attorney, making advance health directives and perhaps most importantly, completing a legally binding Will.
A Will is a legally binding document that is prepared and signed by you, while you have capacity, which records your wishes and intentions as to how your estate is to be managed and distributed among your nominated beneficiaries.
Wills vary in their complexity and cover details such as who you nominate to be you executor (who will be in charge of the administration of your estate), provisions for your assets and financial liabilities, trusts, gifts, organ donation, and any funeral or bodily remains wishes you may have.
It is important to have your Will prepared by a professional to ensure it meets all of the requirements to be legally binding in order to minimise the chances of a claim being made against your estate.
Having a valid Will can assist in minimising disputes within the family after your passing and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of in accordance with your wishes. One of our Solicitors can help you draft a Will that brings you peace of mind.
A Will is a document that should be reviewed regularly, particularly if there is a change in circumstances of either yourself, an executor or beneficiary. It is important to review your Will following a marital separation or divorce, and prior to getting married.
Enduring Powers of Attorney
An enduring power of attorney (EPOA) allows you to nominate a person (or more than one) to make personal and/or financial decisions on your behalf and for those decisions have the same legal effect as if you have made those decisions yourself. If you are incapacitated and you do not have an EPOA, a family member or close friend over 18 years of age (who must not be your paid carer or health professional) may take over your affairs, however they will be required to make an application to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) in order to obtain legal recognition. This can be avoided by preparing an EPOA.
You may need to update your EPOA if any of the following circumstances apply:
- If you get married and your new spouse in not already your attorney or you have another attorney in addition to your new spouse
- If you get divorced and your former spouse ceases to be your EPOA
- If your current attorney withdraws
- If your attorney declares bankruptcy or insolvency
- If your attorney becomes your paid carer or health care professional