Wills and Estate Planning

Shotters Lawyers has extensive experience in the preparation of a whole range of estate planning documents and we are confident that, by building our relationship with you, we can create the right estate planning solution for you.“Estate Planning” is a phrase that often relates to three key areas of personal planning:

  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Enduring Guardianship

A “Will” is a legal document that expresses how you would like your assets dealt with after your death. It does not matter if you do not think your assets are substantial, a Will make it easier and often less expensive to look after a person’s affairs after they have died.
Your Will can address issues including:

  • Who will manage your affairs (this person is called your Executor or Executors)
  • Who will look after your minor children
  • Who inherits your assets including any gifts of specific items
  • Any specific funeral arrangements you would like

 

Your Will can also take advantage of structures to make sure that the distribution of your assets is done in the most tax effective way.

POWERS OF ATTORNEY

A “Power of Attorney” is a legal document that appoints someone (or more than one person) to act on your behalf in a commercial, business or finance arrangements. The most common form of Power of Attorney is an Enduring Power of Attorney and the powers granted to your attorney under this document continue to be operational even if you lose mental capacity.

Your attorney can execute documents on your behalf or do anything that you are legally allowed to do. However, your attorney has no authority to amend or demand a copy of your Will.  Nor does your attorney have any power to make medical health or lifestyle decisions on your behalf.  (If you need someone to make medical health or lifestyle decisions, you will need to appoint an Enduring Guardian – see below). The attorney’s powers cease when you die or after you revoke the Power of Attorney.

Your attorney must be 18 years of age and must be someone that you trust to act in your best interests.

Powers of attorney can be granted for limited periods or for limited or special purposes.

ENDURING GUARDIAN

An “Enduring Guardian” is a person that you choose to make medical health and lifestyle decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to make those decisions for yourself. You can limit the decisions that your Enduring Guardian is able to make.

Your Enduring Guardian would be able to make decisions such as what medical treatment you receive, where you live and, in certain circumstances, whether medical treatment should be stopped or refused. Your Enduring Guardian would also be permitted to obtain the details from your doctors and Medicare if that information was required for your benefit.

Your enduring Guardian must be 18 years old. The powers of your Enduring Guardian cease when you die or when you cancel their appointment. You can appoint more than one Enduring Guardian and even appoint alternate Enduring Guardians.