What happens if I die without a will?
If you die without a will your estate is considered "intestate". Your estate will be administered in accordance with the law regardless of any intention you may have expressed during your lifetime.
An interested party can apply to the Supreme Court to have letters of administration granted to them to administer your estate. They are required to administer the estate in accordance with the law.
Why should I use a solicitor to draft my will?
Entering into a will is the one transaction in this life that cannot be reversed once it is operative. You will never find out that the will you have made informally or through a postal kit is ineffective. It will be your loved ones finding that out.
By having a solicitor draft your will, their qualifications and experience can help protect your assets and ensure those assets end up being distributed to the people you intend.
Why should I use a solicitor to draft my power of attorney or enduring guardianship?
An enduring power of attorney and an enduring guardianship are effective when you are no longer able to make decisions on your own. Although you may not be able to make decisions you may be very aware of the decisions being made on your behalf.
By having a solicitor draft the documents their qualifications and experience can help ensure that when you no longer have capacity to make decisions on your own you and your assets are treated in the manner that you want.
Who makes decisions for me about my living arrangements if I can't anymore?
Doctors and carers will look to your family to make decisions if you have not appointed an enduring guardian. If there is conflict between your family members they may have to apply to the Guardianship Tribunal for orders appointing an enduring guardian to act in your interest. Unfortunately you have no control over who the Tribunal appoints as your guardian if you have not appointed your own enduring guardian.
What happens if I can't make decisions on my own or cannot physically deal with my finances and I need money to help pay my hospital bills or to pay my mortgage?
Nobody has the right to deal with your property or finances without your consent. Unfortunately that has the effect that if you are incapacitated nobody is able to authorise your funds without an order from the Guardianship Tribunal or the Supreme Court of NSW.
Unless your mortgage payments and other bills are being automatically paid they will lapse. It will require an interested relative or friend to make an application for a property order to manage your affairs before anyone will be authorised to deal with your funds.