Wills and estate planning is a task that can feel overwhelming, especially when we haven’t heard of the terms such as Wills, Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship and Probate. Allow One Law to simplify these tasks and define what each term means:
A Will is a legal document that formalises your wishes in relation to your assets and possessions. A Will appoints your Executor, who is person responsible for administering the deceased person’s estate, ensuring that any debts are paid, and distributing the remaining assets as detailed in the Will. A Will also appoints your beneficiaries to receive your assets.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document providing someone (Attorney) the authority to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. The Power of Attorney is beneficial if you are travelling overseas or unwell, allowing you to still attend to your matters such as signing documents or dealing with property. There are two types of Power of Attorney:
·General Power of Attorney – assists with decisions to be made on your behalf while you have mental capacity to do so. It ceases when you lose mental capacity.
·Enduring Power of Attorney – assists with decisions to be made on your behalf, before and after you have lost mental capacity to do so.
An Enduring Guardianship enables you to designate a trusted individual (Guardian) to make vital decisions about your medical health, dental health and lifestyle. This will only apply once you are unable to make important decisions and will continue as longer you require unless:
·You cancel or revoke it, before you lose mental capacity
·Your guardian resigns or unable to be carry out the role
·Guardianship Division of NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the NSW Supreme Court revokes or changes the appointment.
Probate is a legal process that validates the Will of a deceased person so that their wishes can be carried out by any executors named in the Will. An application for a Probate or Letters of Administration is made where the deceased person has assets. There are two types of applications you can make to the Supreme Court of NSW:
·Grant of Probate – a legal document that authorises an executor (or executors) to manage and distribute the estate of a deceased person in accordance with the provisions of the deceased’s will; and
·Grant of Letters of Administration – a legal document that authorises an administrator (or administrators) to manage the estate of a deceased person in accordance with the law. This applies where the deceased person did not have a Will.
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