A valid Will provides you with peace of mind that you have done all you can to ensure that your assets be distributed in the way that you want them to be following your death.
The Will provides you with the opportunity to appoint those you wish to administer your estate (executors) and allows you to direct where your assets and belongings go. If you have minor children (under 18) it also provides you the opportunity to nominate a guardian to care for your children.
It is important to keep your Will up to date. This is especially important when there is a change of circumstances in your life such as marriage or divorce, or the death of a beneficiary or executor appointed in your previous Will. It is beneficial to have a look that your existing Will still suits your purposes, every 3 -5 year to avoid any future problems.
General and/or Enduring Power of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney is a formal written document in which you authorise another person to represent you in certain circumstances. It relates to your financial affairs only, and not lifestyle or medical decisions. This allows the person you appoint (your Attorney) to deal with your financial affairs (for example, to buy and sell things on your behalf, to operate your bank account if you are overseas or ill), however it does not apply if you are mentally incapacitated.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose a person to make legal and financial decisions for you and to sign other legal documents on your behalf. This is generally used when a person becomes mentally or physically incapacitated, but it must be prepared and signed before that person becomes incapacitated.
Advance Care Directives
On 1 July 2014, the new Advance Care Directives came into effect pursuant to the Advance Care Directives Act (SA) 2013 which replaces the Enduring Powers of Guardianship, Medical Powers of Attorney and Anticipatory Directions. You can now use one single form, called the Advance Care Directive to write down your wishes in terms of your future health care, where you’d like to live, and other personal matters. Your Advance Care Directive comes into effect during any period of impaired decision-making capacity, whether temporary or permanent.
The Advance Care Directive form also allows you to appoint someone called a ‘Substitute Decision Maker’ to make decisions on your behalf, provided the Substitute Decision Maker follows the instructions set out in your Advance Care Directive form.
If you already have a valid Enduring Power of Guardianship or Medical Power of Attorney, those documents will continue to have legal effect. The aim of the Advance Care Directives is to provide you with more rights with respect to your health care and personal wishes, therefore if you feel that your existing Enduring Power of Guardianship or Medical Power of Attorney do not reflect your wishes with sufficient detail, you may think about making an Advance Care Directive.
Please note that all fees quoted are inclusive of GST.
*Please note that we offer a discount to pensioners of $30% off of the above listed prices.
**Additional fees may apply for consideration of more complicated arrangements involving existing family discretionary trusts and private companies, specific gifts, multiple charity or not-for-profit donations/gifts or where a testamentary trust is required.
If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney or Advance Care Directive and are unable to make your own decisions due to an accident or illness, then a family member will need to seek authority from the Guardianship Board to make these decisions for you. This may result in a third party (such as the Public Trustee) being appointed to act for you.
Mental Incapacity is defined in the Guardianship and Administration Act (SA) 1993 as:-
“the inability of a person to look after his or her own health, safety or welfare or to manage his or her own affairs, as a result of:- any damage to, or illness, disorder, imperfect or delayed development, impairment or deterioration, of the brain or mind; or any physical illness or condition that renders the person unable to communicate his or her intentions or wishes in any manner whatsoever”.
Should you require assistance in relation to preparation of any of the above-mentioned documents, please contact us to make an appointment time via telephone or email.