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Do I need a Will and an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Estate planning is more than just planning to allocate specific assets to certain people.

Financial planners have a crucial role in estate planning because it is an extension of their primary role. Most people focus on building wealth, protecting themselves and their family, not what happens if they aren’t around anymore.

A complete estate plan will allow you to preserve control of your assets and to verify who will make decisions on your behalf should you become unable in the future.

As a Financial Planner our role is to ensure that this important step in the financial planning process is completed, kept up to date, and the tax treatment of particular assets in your estate is considered.

To implement your Estate Plan, you will also need to talk to a legal professional and/or solicitor, who can assist you in covering all parts of an estate plan.

What should you consider when preparing a Will?

  • Who do you want to be your beneficiaries?
  • Who will you choose as the executor of your Will?
  • Do you have any specific bequests?
  • What assets need to be included?
  • What are the tax implications?

When should you update your Will?

Your Will should be reviewed and updated whenever there are major changes in your life, such as:

  • Marriage
  • Birth of a Child
  • Divorce
  • Retirement
  • Significant changes to the value of your assets
  • Significant changes to the way you own assets, such as the formation of a family trust or self-managed superannuation fund
  • Entering a new business or change to existing business structures.

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney and do I need one?

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) allow you (the principal) to appoint someone you trust (an attorney) to make decisions for you during your lifetime.  These include personal (including health) matters and/or financial matters.  An Enduring Power of Attorney continues if you lose capacity, whereas a General Power of Attorney ends if you lose capacity.

Personal (including health) matters, which relate to personal or lifestyle decisions. This includes decisions about

  • support services
  • where and with whom you live
  • health care
  • legal matters that do not relate to your financial or property matters.

Financial matters, which relate to decisions about your financial or property affairs including

  • paying expenses
  • making investments
  • selling property (including your home)
  • carrying on a business).

If you do not have a current Enduring Power of Attorney or do not have anyone to choose as your Attorney, The Public Guardian can be appointed to take on responsibility for your personal (health) matters, and the Public Trustee can be appointed to act as your attorney for your financial matters.  It is important to note that the Public Trustee charge fees for their services.

How do you get started on creating your will and Enduring Power of Attorney?

Estate planning is a complex area that requires careful consideration. You will need the expertise of a solicitor and accountant, in conjunction with the guidance of a financial adviser.

Source: www.qld.gov.au/law

This website contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.