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How often should I be updating my Will and Powers of Attorney?

3 min read

24 Jul 2020

A Will appoints an executor and directs how your estate is to be administered, after you pass away. It is important that you have a Will so that your family members are aware of your wishes.

An Enduring Power of Attorney appoints persons to deal with your financial affairs. These persons can do anything you would normally be able to do with your finances and you can place temporary or specific limitations on the appointment. This can be especially helpful if you become seriously ill, or if you are prevented from attending to tasks yourself.

An Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker appoints substitute decision-makers to make decisions about your health and welfare if you lose mental capacity (for example, if you fall seriously ill). Your decision-makers should be informed of the type of treatment you expect or the type of care you wish to have in the event that you have lost mental capacity due to the seriousness of your condition.

Estate Planning is taking the necessary practical steps to ensure that your assets are divided as you wish after your death. It may seem morbid but, it is an important time to check that you and your family members have a valid and current Will and Powers of Attorney in place.

If you do have these documents in place, have they been updated in the last three years? If not, we recommend that you discuss your circumstances with us further. It is worth checking that your executor/attorney know where your original documents are kept and that they have certified copies on hand in the event these are needed.

If you do not have the above documents in place, we strongly recommend that you discuss your circumstances with us so we can provide advice and draft the appropriate documents for you.

We can take instructions and prepare your documents and ensure they are signed and witnessed correctly. We can also provide you with as many certified copies as you need.

Superannuation Funds & SMSF

Superannuation death benefits do not automatically form part of the estate of a deceased. Usually, the trustee of the superannuation fund will pay the death benefits directly to the deceased’s dependents or in accordance with the binding death nomination.

For this reason it is important to check your binding death nomination with your superannuation fund and ensure that it is constantly updated.

There are different options to how your super can be distributed after you your death such as a Binding Death benefit nomination or Establishing a Testamentary Trust.

It is important that your wills are current and that they are considered carefully. This will ensure that your loved ones are not burdened with uncertainty or will disputes following your death.

We are here to help you with your estate planning and will provide professional and considered advice.

Please contact one of our Wills and Estate Lawyers today on 03 8397 5000 or complete an online enquiry form and we will be in contact with you shortly.

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