Power of Attorney
Do you want peace of mind that your loved ones, financial, legal, and lifestyle affairs will be taken care of when you pass away? RM Legal & Conveyancing can help you achieve this!
To ensure that your estate is transferred to those you have chosen when you die, you must prepare a legal Will. To make a legal Will, you must be at least 18 years old and have the Will signed in the presence of two witnesses.
You do not want your estate distributed using a fixed formula determined by the government. This formula is applied regardless of your situation. This is the consequence of not having a legal Will.
What is a will?
A Will is a legal document that sets out how your estate is to be distributed when you pass away. An executor is appointed to look after your estate.
To make a legal Will, you must:
- Have the capacity to make the Will. This means you must be at least 18 years old and understand what you are doing;
- Your wishes in writing; and
- Have the document signed in the presence of two witnesses in order for your Will to be valid.
By making Will:
- Your estate is not divided by using a fixed formula;
- You decide how to divide your estate and who to give your estate to;
- You can appoint who you wish to administer your estate (known as the Executor);
- You can indicate your preference as to a guardian for your children.
- Only assets owned by you will pass into your estate and be controlled by your Will. This includes homes, home contents, bank accounts and personal effects, and other jointly owned assets. Assets in your sole name, including property, money, motor vehicles and shares will form part of your estate and be controlled by your Will.
What is an Executor and what are their duties?
An executor is the person named in the Will who is given the legal responsibility to take care of a deceased person’s remaining financial obligations. This means taking care of everything from disposing of property to paying bills and taxes.
The executor must:
- Collect all your assets.
- Pay all your debts.
- Distribute your estate in accordance with your Will.
What is a Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian?
You should also nominate a Power of Attorney and Appoint an Enduring Guardian.
A Power of Attorney is a document allowing you to appoint and authorise one or more people to manage your financial and legal affairs.
You can specify:
When the appointment is to operate;
Limit or restricted the attorney’s powers; or
Require the attorneys to act jointly or on their own.
A Power of Attorney is designed to continue to operate after you lose your mental capacity is called an Enduring Power of Attorney. We recommend you consider appointing an Enduring Power of Attorney to conduct your financial and legal affairs in the event that you:
Suffer from unsoundness of mind or mental illness, which leads you to
losing your mental capacity; or
You are not capable of physically managing your own affairs.
Appointing an Enduring Power of Attorney is the best way to ensure that your wishes and your best interests are fulfilled. An Enduring Guardianship is a document that allows you to appoint and authorise one or more people to manage your welfare and life style affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.
A person appointed to this role can make decisions in relation to:
Where you live;
The type of care you receive; and
And to a limited degree, what medical treatment you are to receive.
An Enduring Guardianship will commence operation after you lose your mental capacity.