Every Australian with assets should have a will. A will is a legal document which sets out how your property is to be distributed, and who is to care for any minor children you have, if you die. Many people are uncomfortable thinking about a will, but having one will make things much easier for your loved ones in the event of your death.
There are various forms of wills. The most common type of will is a standard will, which can be drafted quickly and cheaply by a wills and estates lawyer. If your affairs are more complex you may require a will with a testamentary trust. A testamentary trust gives greater control over the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries, and can have tax advantages.
It’s important that you execute a power of attorney, which is a document that gives your attorney the power to make financial and property decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney is important if you are incapacitated.
You should also execute a power of enduring guardian. This enables an enduring guardian to make health or lifestyle decisions on your behalf in the event that you cannot make these decisions yourself.
The law of wills and estates is complex. A specialist wills and estates lawyer can assist you to understand your needs, and your family’s needs, when deciding which documents you require and what they will cover.