Wills and Estates
Wills/Powers of Attorney/ Enduring Guardianships
If you die without a will, you leave your family and friends in the unenviable position of having to apply for letters of administration to deal with your assets at a time when they are grieving. Even worse, the distribution of your estate will be in accordance with the laws of the state and may not be as you would wish.
It is important to have a will expressing your wishes properly drawn up, so that on your death, your assets pass to the people you intend, with minimum inconvenience to your loved ones.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney allows the person you appoint to deal with your assets. An enduring power of attorney allows that person to deal with your assets when you are otherwise incapable of doing so.
If you do not have an enduring power of attorney and you suffer a debilitating illness or accident and cannot deal with your own assets you will be left in a position where no-one has the authority to access your money, whether to pay your mortgage or deal with your medical expenses.
In those circumstances concerned family or friends can make application to the Guardianship Tribunal for orders to deal with your assets. That is an inconvenience you could avoid putting your friends and relatives through by ensuring you have an enduring power of attorney in place.
Appointment of Enduring Guardian
An enduring guardian is authorised to deal with your disposition, which means they may make decisions about your health and living arrangements. An enduring guardian is not entitled to make any decisions about your financial affairs.
If you have not appointed an enduring guardian then the doctors and other relevant people will look to relatives to make decisions in relation to your wellbeing if you are unable to make those decisions on your own. The person making those decisions may not be the person you believe should be making them.
Contact us to obtain an indicative quote or arrange a consultation with an experienced property and estate lawyer. If you have any questions or require more information, please refer to our helpful FAQs.