Does your Will need updating to reflect changes in your circumstances?
A legal Will is crucial for managing your wishes and securing the future of your family and loved ones. A Will contains specific directions as to how your assets are to be distributed after your death and, if drafted properly, can ensure your intentions are carried out per your wishes. It will also reduce the risk of any Will disputes arising.
Wills should be updated every few years, particularly when there are births, deaths, marriages and divorces within the family. If you pass away without a Will, your property may fall into the hands of the State. This can mean you lose control of the management of your estate and distribution of your assets.
A testamentary trust provides additional protection for beneficiaries including prevention of third parties such as creditors, from claiming against the beneficiaries of your estate. Testamentary trusts also provide a tax-effective distribution of assets or income.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Many people have a General Power of Attorney in place which will normally relate to financial and property affairs. This is only effective if the person giving the Power of Attorney is ‘mentally capable’. The purpose of an Enduring Power of Attorney is that it remains valid even if you lose mental capacity.
What is An Enduring Guardian
An Enduring Guardian is someone you appoint to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapable of doing so. These decision choices range from lifestyle to health and medical decisions. Appointing an Enduring Guardian can provide a sense of relief knowing you have someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. This appointment is designed to take effect after you lose mental capacity.
If you lose capacity without having appointed an Enduring Guardian, an application will need to be made to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to manage your affairs.
Advanced Health Care Directives
An advanced Health Care Directive is a document that states your wishes, values or directions regarding your future health care for various medical conditions should you become seriously ill, injured or unable to make your wishes known. You may wish your directive to apply at any time should you be unable to decide for yourself, or you may want it to apply only if you have fallen terminally ill.
Advanced Health Care Directive includes such things as:
- Types of medical treatment preferences
- Limitations to treatment
- Nomination of a person responsible to consult with medical providers on your behalf when you are unable to communicate your wishes.
If you believe you are entitled to a deceased estate, LHD Lawyers can help. An eligible person in accordance with the Succession Act 2006 is someone who feels they have been unfairly treated in a Will. They can apply to the Court for a Family Provision Order.
Reasons for Contesting a Will include:
- The deceased had no Will
- The Will was not legally valid
- You have been excluded from the Will
- You had a close and personal relationship with the deceased
- You have not been adequately provided for in the Will
- Administration negligence
Do Time Limits Apply?
Strict time limits apply. If you are the executor or beneficiary of a Will that is being contested or challenged, then it may be in your best interest to seek professional legal advice as soon as possible. Our team of legal experts will be able to review your case and take the necessary action to ensure you get what the entitlements that you deserve.
Contact LHD Lawyers on 1800 455 725 today to organise a free, confidential consultation about your case.