COVID-19 has brought into focus the uncertainty that inherently exists in our world. We just don’t know what is around the next corner. This has caused many of us to consider whether our affairs are in order. Here are four things to do..
- Have in place a valid, up to date, well drafted and properly considered Will. John Laws once said “oils ain’t oils” – well “Wills ain’t Wills” either. The world is a complex place with many interacting and overlapping laws and legal concepts. Whilst we understand people’s desire for a simple Will, often simplicity undermines what the client is trying to achieve. Why compromise on the vehicle that transfers all of your life’s work and wealth?
- Appoint an Attorney. An Attorney can stand in your shoes to exercise your legal rights when you have lost capacity to act for yourself. You might think that this is just for old people. It’s definitely not. We regularly see examples of people losing their physical or mental capacity in their 30s, 40s and 50s through accidents, and unforeseen serious medical conditions. Having in place an Enduring Power of Attorney means your affairs can continue to be managed. The world does not stop just because you do.
- Sign a valid superannuation binding death benefit nomination. Did you know that in most cases it is up to the trustee of your super fund to decide who gets your superannuation after your death? This is a complex area of law that is often oversimplified and commoditised with potentially disastrous consequences. You should seek proper legal advice before you take this step. With the huge increase in wealth held in superannuation, having a strategy in place to ensure your super goes where you want it to is very important.
- Sign an Enduring Guardianship document. This is a document whereby you appoint a person or persons to make decisions about your health care, medical treatment and accommodation if you get to a stage in life where you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. Again, this is not an “old age” issue. Capacity can be lost as a result of accidents or serious medical conditions at any age. The Enduring Guardianship document enables you to give clear instructions to the persons authorised to act for you as to what your wishes are and how you would like to be cared for. Don’t be like the old person walking across the road and not looking at the traffic, in the belief that if they ignore it they will not be hit.
The lesson in life is to hope for the best and plan for the worst so that if the worst does occur you already have a planned response in place to deal with it.
If we can help, please call us on 9543 1444 and make an appointment..