It is easy to joke that you don’t care what happens to your assets after you die; but leaving clear directions about how you would like your things handled after you’ve gone can...
Having a valid and up to date Will is a great start to ensuring those left behind get the assets you would have liked them to have, that dependent children are cared for according to your wishes and that you get the funeral you envisaged.
But a Will is only part of an estate plan which should form part of any financial plan. Not all assets can be dealt with in a Will and a Will only takes effect when you die.
Loss of capacityAn estate plan can also outline how you would like your affairs handled if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself, such as through age or illness. By appointing a trusted friend or relative as your power of attorney, you give them the legal authority to look after your affairs on your behalf.
A general power of attorney can make financial and legal decisions for you, usually for a specified period of time; an enduring power of attorney can make financial and legal decisions for you if you lose the capacity to make your own decisions and a medical power of attorney can make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself.
Other assetsSuperannuation and Insurance can be significant parts of someone’s estate, but dealt with separately to a Will. The beneficiaries can also be different to those specified in a Will.
Illness or death can be emotional and stressful enough without surprises. Plan ahead to ensure your assets, insurance and superannuation are preserved in the best way possible and according to your wishes.
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