6 reasons why you need an Estate Plan

  1. If you don’t state your wishes, then your assets may end up in the wrong hands.

A person who dies without a Will is said to have died “intestate”. The assets of a person who has died intestate are distributed according to a prescribed formula set by law. This formula is rigid and is enforced by the Supreme Court in NSW.

  1. If you have children in your care and they need to be looked after in the event of death or incapacity.

If something unexcepted happens and you are no longer able to look after your children, who would you ask to take care of them? An Estate Plan will ensure your Children are cared for by the people you nominate.

  1. Your Spouse or next of kin doesn’t automatically get to take care of your affairs if you don’t have a Will.

A relative or next of kin will need to apply to take up the administration of the deceased’s estate. The Court has strict requirements on who can apply to be the administrator and it can place an unintended burden on family members.

  1. If you pass away without a Will your loved ones need to provide evidence to the court.

The person applying for the administration of the deceased estate will need to prove to the court that the deceased did not leave a Will. This may seem like an easy task, however the court will require evidence of attempts to search for a Will including writing to banks and local solicitors, which can become an administrative burden and may result in additional costs.

  1. In the event of something unexpected, you can no longer manage your own legal and financial affairs.

If you do not have a Power of Attorney in place and you lose capacity, a close relative or friend may apply to the Guardianship Tribunal to become your financial manager.  This process is costly and time-consuming and can be avoided by simply putting in place a Power of Attorney while you are mentally capable.

  1. In the event of something unexpected you can no longer make your own medical and lifestyle decisions

An Enduring Guardian deals with the medical and lifestyle affairs including where you live, health care you receive, dealing with doctors etc.  This power will only operate if you become partially or totally incapacitated.

If you do not have an Enduring Guardianship in place and you lose capacity, a close relative or friend may apply to the Guardianship Tribunal to become your guardian. This is a similar process to an application for financial manager as discussed above.  As such the time and costs of this process can be avoided by simply putting in place an Enduring Guardianship while you are mentally capable.

How long will it take to draw up my Estate Plan?

For the average Australian creating an Estate Plan is a relatively straightforward process. Seeking expert legal advice can often make this process simplified and can get this done quickly for you. At Southern Waters Legal, we aim to simplify the documents for you so you can easily understand the contents and importance of your estate planning documents.

We have a team of experienced estate planning solicitors who can assist you with preparing an Estate Plan that suits your personal circumstances. If would like to discuss your circumstances please do not hesitate to contact our office on 9523 5535 or email info@southernwaters.com.au