COVID-19: Why now is the best time for your estate plan

With so much change happening so quickly, it is easy to feel anxious and overwhelmed.

 

Thinking about death and legal incapacity can be daunting. The truth is that we never know what is around the corner and what we may be faced with from one day to the next. There may come a time when the tough decisions need to be made.

 

More than one person has said to me in the last few weeks, “I don’t want to overreact, but can you prepare my Will?”

 

The good news is that there are things you can do and, with the right advice and documents, you can take comfort in knowing that if the worst happens, there is a plan in place for your family.

 

There are three main documents which comprise an effective estate plan:

  • A Will
  • An enduring power of attorney
  • An enduring power of guardianship

 

A Will

Your Will is your expression of how you want your estate to be distributed in the event of your death. The critical issues to consider are:

  • The Executors: Who do you want to be in control of your estate, to manage your assets and hold funds in trust for beneficiaries?
  • Guardians of minor children: In the unfortunate event that both parents died before the youngest child is 18, who would make parenting decisions for your kids?
  • Are there any family members who are dependent on you: Aside from your children are there other members of the family who rely on you for financial support?
  • Distribution of your estate: Who would you like to benefit from your estate? Are there family members who require more financial support for education or due to a disability? Is there a beneficiary who requires some protection around their inheritance?

 

Enduring Power of Attorney

  • This document allows you to appoint a trusted person to make decisions on your behalf relating to your property and finances
  • You can choose whether to appoint your attorney to act immediately or in the event you lose legal capacity

 

Enduring Power of Guardianship

  • This document allows you to nominate a person to make health, welfare and lifestyle decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make them yourself
  • Under the Guardianship and Administration Act, your spouse and other close family can make medical treatment decisions for you but the EPG goes beyond issues of medical treatment and includes decisions such as where you will live and with whom you will associate
  • An EPG ensures you have a trusted person in place to make these decisions on your behalf if you are no longer capable of making them

 

How can we help you?

 

  • We have an online portal at www.culshawmiller.com.au where you can enter your information and wishes in response to the questions asked
  • We can meet with you through online facilities, or by telephone to go through your plan
  • We can prepare the documents, arrange for you to sign  and store the originals in safe custody for you

 

Please call us on 9488 1300 or via www.culshawmiller.com.au to discuss your needs and how we can best assist you

 

There is much we cannot control in the current environment but a good estate plan will give you some peace of mind.