What are Wills & Enduring Powers of Attorney?
Wills & Enduring Powers of Attorney documents are likely some of the most important documents you will ever sign.
Your Will contains instructions about your wishes when you die and how your assets are to be distributed among your family, friends, charities etc.
Consideration should be given to who you want to appoint as Executor under your Will; the name of a guardian or guardians of any minor children; any specific bequests you may wish to make to a certain family member or friend (i.e., heirlooms, monetary gifts, antiques, etc); and how the residue of your estate is divided up.
If you have specific burial or creation wishes these should also be included in your Will so that there is no confusion between family, which sometimes happens!
Enduring Powers of Attorney are separate documents which come into effect during your lifetime should you become mentally incapacitated. You should think carefully about who would like to appoint as your attorney and they should be someone who you trust to handle your affairs should the need arise.
There are two types of Enduring Powers of Attorney, one for Personal Care and Welfare and one for Property.
An attorney under Personal Care and Welfare can make decisions about your personal matters, including medical care or making decisions about rest home care. An Enduring Power of Attorney for Property allows the Attorney to manage any transaction that involves your property (assets), including finances, and all household expenses, household bills etc.
In both situations a doctor is required to assess you and would confirm that you no longer have capacity before the attorney steps in to look after your affairs.
It should be noted that all patients or residents of elder care facilities are required to have Enduring Powers of Attorney in place, so it makes perfect sense, and is good estate planning, to have these completed earlier rather than later. Taking time to have these documents prepared allows you to take control and make your own choices as to who you appoint to handle your affairs.
If you would like to discuss Wills & Enduring Powers of Attorney further or go ahead and put these documents in place, please contact our friendly team at Pier Law.