Although it’s not something most of us like to focus on, it is something we should be allocating time to complete – a will.
Planning for what happens to your assets and personal belongings when you pass away is necessary and really important as we all want our loved ones to be looked after and taken care of.
Not only that, no one wants their loved ones questioning what we would’ve wanted to do in specific situations or with certain items. Unless you write things down and record it, generally other family members won’t entirely know what your wishes are – unless of course they’re a mind reader!
But for the rest of us who can’t read minds, a will is a simple but effective way of recording your wishes and giving instructions. An experienced will and estate lawyer can advise you on how to construct your will and put it together for you.
In addition to a will, estate planning can also be helpful in the caring of a person who is terminally ill, elderly or who has lost the ability to make their own decisions.
So what are some of the important roles that should be appointed when estate planning or writing a will?
Let’s take a further look, as sometimes these roles can get confused and are often misunderstood.
Executor of your Estate
An executor of your estate is someone appointed by you to oversee and manage your last will and testament and follow your instructions on your affairs and wishes. It also includes ensuring the correct disbursement of your estate to the nominated beneficiaries as outlined in your will.
As such, an executor is appointed as someone who is highly trusted. When a will is written, the name of the executor will be recorded on the will by the will and estate lawyer.
Power of Attorney
Appointing a power of attorney means you will have someone who has your authority to act or make decision for you in legal and financial matters. It’s important to note they can make decisions on your behalf while you are still alive.
Not everyone needs to appoint a power of attorney, it is only for specific situations. Ask your will and estate lawyer if this is something you should consider now, or in the future.
A power of attorney cannot make health, lifestyle or welfare decisions on a person’s behalf, this is the role of an enduring guardian.
If you aren’t able to decide things like what medical treatment you receive or where you live, then it’s wise to consider appointing an enduring guardian.
A Will and Estate Lawyer can assist when you appoint an enduring guardian. The lawyer can prepare the document according to your wishes and witness it for you.
It’s important to note that an enduring guardian role only becomes active if and when the person in question loses their ability to decide anything lifestyle or welfare related.
Advance Care Directive
Although it sounds formal, an advance care directive is simply a formal documentation of your needs, preferences and values for any future care that may occur.
For example, a person may not want to accept blood transfusions in a life and death situation due to strong religious or other reasons. Unless close relatives know this, it will be hard to respect and act upon.
It’s specifically important for people who are terminally ill, have lost or are losing cognitive ability or during end of life care.
With an advance care directive, a substitute decision maker is appointed to make decisions on legal, medical, health, financial and personal matters. Family or health care professionals cannot override a valid advance care directive.
A valid advance care directive does not require an estate or will lawyer.
The first step in wills and estate planning is to have your will written by a will and estate lawyer. That way, you give yourself the best chance to take care of your loved ones. Consider TY Lawyers in Chatswood in your estate planning.
To discuss wills and estates further, you can call TY Lawyers in Chatswood for a private discussion. We’re here to help. Call: 02 8007 0135 today.