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Estate planning: why you should have a plan in place today

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People often put Estate Planning off but now is the time to put your plan in place if you have not already.

The topic of Estate Planning is often disregarded on the basis that it is only required for elderly people or because the process can be considered uncomfortable. The reality is that without having a plan in place, the legal affect that takes place after a person’s death is what becomes most distressing for family members and friends.

Estate Planning is an important aspect during your lifetime because it ensures that your Estate is administered in accordance with your wishes upon your death. 

A Will

Preparation of a Will enables you to nominate beneficiaries who you wish to inherit your Estate upon your death. Without a Will in place, you have no control as to the administration of your assets or who receives them. A Will can also be prepared to reflect certain events that you wish to take place upon your death such as funeral arrangements or the creation of a Trust.

Testamentary Guardian

Additionally, you have the opportunity to elect an individual or multiple persons whom you wish to act as Testamentary Guardian for your children to ensure that they are cared for. In the event that the unfortunate was to happen, appointing a Guardian may assist in disputes that arise between people as to the care of your children.

People’s circumstances are changing unexpectedly and therefore putting a plan into place now is imperative to protect your assets and people in your life, should something happen. 

There are documents which may be prepared and enacted during your lifetime such as a Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardian.

Power of Attorney

Allows you to appoint a person to assist with and control your finances if you do not have the mental capacity to do so yourself.

Enduring Guardian

Similar to a Power of Attorney, an Enduring Guardian enables you to appoint a person to make decisions for you regarding your health if you do not have the mental capacity to make these decisions for yourself. During your lifetime or upon your death if there is no plan in place, it could become a costly and stressful exercise for those involved.

It is important to devote time to ensure that your estate plan is in place. Contact us today to find out more information on preparing a Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship.

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Jamie Roche

Jamie joined Watkins Tapsell in 2012 after having practiced in the United States for 10 years. Jamie is qualified to practice as a solicitor in New South Wales in State and Federal Courts and he is also a member of the Bar in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, USA.