It’s so important to make sure your Will, Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directives are up-to-date, correctly executed and accurately reflect your wishes. You never know when the documents are going to be needed, and knowing they are up-to date provides comfort to you and your family.
So much can go wrong with the DIY kits – although they may seem like a cheap and quick alternative, in the long term they can lead to further stress and heartache for your family at an already difficult time for them.
Its just as important to understand what each of the documents are, their function and when they may be required.
Your Will is the legal document that says how you wish your assets to be distributed upon your death. It allows you to choose an executor who is the person responsible for making sure your wishes are carried out.
Your will deals only with your assets. Its important to note that assets jointly owned do not form part of your estate.
The execution of your will must follow certain formalities required by law. Failure to do so will mean that your beneficiaries may suffer unnecessary trouble, delay and expenses in administering your estate.
Enduring Power of Attorney
You may not always be able to manage your financial affairs - you may be ill, could suffer a disability such as a stroke or be in an accident, or you may be temporarily away on a holiday. An Enduring Power of Attorney is an important legal document in which you give someone else the power to manage your assets, legal and financial affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.
Advance Care Directive
An Advance Care Directive is a legal document that allows you to formally express your wishes regarding future medical care and lifestyle decisions. You can nominate a person or people to make decisions for you if you are not able to make or communicate your wishes.
It lets you have a say about your future care and helps your family, friends and carers to know what type of health treatment you would like as well as specifying outcomes or treatments that you wish to avoid- such as being placed on life support or CPR.
Without an Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive in place your family or caregivers will need to make an application to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. A hearing will be held and the tribunal will appoint a person to make financial and medical decisions for you.
Wouldn’t you prefer to appoint your own person
for these decisions and to execute your wishes