There are many reasons why having an up-to-date estate plan is so important right now. Taking the time to get an estate plan in place will ensure your loved ones will be in the best position to deal with your incapacity or death. It will also reduce the risk of family disputes or the likelihood of expensive legal actions in the future.
The continuing restrictions could make it trickier to arrange or update estate planning documents. Witnessing the documents might be more of a challenge right now.
However, it is important to persevere. Your first step would be to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Some legal practitioners have amended the way they provide services traditionally, allowing for meetings to be held and certain documents to be witnessed electronically such as via a video link.
Regardless of your age or financial situation, at a minimum you should have an:
- Up-to-date Will that reflects your wishes and any limitations you would like to impose on your estate. It is important to remember that the Will only comes into effect when you pass away.
- Enduring Power of Attorney. It is in effect during your lifetime and relates to your financial and legal affairs. It allows you to appoint a person/s to assist with financial affairs if you were to be incapable of managing your affairs.
- Advance Health Directive. It is also in effect during your lifetime and relates to your medical needs. It allows you to appoint a person/s to decide matters including medical services you should receive or refuse to receive.
- Valid death benefit nomination in super. You should contact your financial adviser or superannuation provider, check your nomination and ensure it reflects your wishes. This is important because super does not automatically form part of the Estate unless you made a nomination to your legal personal representative. This means, without a valid nomination in super, your Will (even if it is up-to-date) may not be able to deal with superannuation assets. This is a big issue as superannuation is often a large portion of your financial wealth, particularly if you have life insurance held in super.
The information contained in this article is general information only. It is not intended to be a recommendation, offer, advice or invitation to purchase, sell or otherwise deal in securities or other investments. Before making any decision in respect to a financial product, you should seek advice from an appropriately qualified professional.
We believe that the information contained in this document is accurate. However, we are not specifically licensed to provide tax or legal advice and any information that may relate to you should be confirmed with your tax or legal adviser.