Estate planning

Estate planning is about future proofing - it is not just about when you pass away, but also about protecting your children and assets if you are unable to do so.
If you are stuck overseas or are in trouble, you will need to have a Power of Attorney or a Welfare Guardian in place so that the people you have nominated can help you in your situation.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows an individual or organisation to act on your behalf. Appointing an Ordinary Power of Attorney gives the attorney wide powers to undertake actions on your behalf, such as dealing with property or paying bills. However, if the Will Maker dies or loses mental capacity an Ordinary Power of Attorney ceases. An Enduring Power of Attorney can be appointed to overcome these limitations.
A Welfare Guardian is someone you appoint to make lifestyle, health and medical decisions for you when you are not capable of doing so yourself. Welfare Guardians are appointed by the Family Court by making a Welfare Guardian Order for anyone who is 18 or older.
Before travelling over the holidays, ensure these important documents are in place so you and your loved ones will be taken care of, and matters can be settled the way you choose. Some
questions to consider before travelling are:
  • Have you named guardians for your children?
  • Did you create powers of attorney and/or enduring guardians in case you get into an accident and cannot make decisions about your health or finances?
  • Have you outlined specific medical details? E.g. are you an organ donor?
  • Have you updated all your beneficiary designations?
  • Are your last wishes laid out for your family?
  • Can someone locate these documents, either physically or electronically?

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