Elder Law and Estate Planning
Look into the future and what do you want to see? ... most of us hope to see a rosy future for ourselves and our loved ones.
Whilst no one can really foresee what is ahead of us, we can ensure that if misfortune does befall us we have taken precautions, at least in one field, to assist our families to cope.
This can be done quite simply by ensuring that we have a valid Will, a Power of Attorney and the Appointment of an Enduring Guardian in place. Some people think that these documents take away their control over their own affairs. This is not so. It is important to note that you must have mental capacity to enter into these documents at the time they are drafted. This is why it is so important that you arrange these documents well in advance just in case they ever need to be used.
A Will of course, only operates when you die. So you can make a new Will every day if you wanted to, but it is the last one that counts. However, it is important to note that a Will can be challenged in Court by a particular class of people which include spouses and children. It is important to keep this in mind when drafting your Will so that you can structure it in such a way that minimises the likelihood of it being challenged. There is nothing you can do to stop your Will being challenged.
A Power of Attorney gives your Attorney the power to deal with your financial affairs. It does not preclude you from being able to deal with your financial affairs, however it just makes provision to allow someone to assist you where necessary. A Power of Attorney can contain all sorts of conditions and limitations as to its use by your Attorney (e.g only to be used while I am overseas or only to be used for a specific property related transaction). It can be revoked at any time. Please note there is a formal procedure to be followed to revoke your Power of Attorney. If this is something you wish to do please contact Meehans immediately.
If you decided to make your Power of Attorney an "Enduring Power of Attorney" it will continue to be effective if you no longer have the mental capacity to manage your own financial affairs.
Appointment of an Enduring Guardianship gives your appointed Guardian the right to make personal/ lifestyle decisions on your behalf when you are not capable of doing this for yourself. Examples of decisions they can make include things like where you live, what healthcare you receive etc. You can give your Enduring Guardian as many or as few functions as you like, and you can also stipulate conditions and directions such as a direction to not resuscitate.
Enduring Power of Attorney and Dying Without a Will Brochures
Please download the Brochures on both Enduring Power of Attorney and Dying Without a Will from here.