Over 50% of Australians don't have a Will or estate plan, let alone other important medical and life documentation in place.
It may be daunting to appoint another person to make a life changing medical decision on your behalf, to be guardian of your children or to be your Power of Attorney if you fall ill or become incapacitated.
However, the unavoidable fact is, if you don't think about these serious decisions now, your partner or children might be put in a situation where they are left guessing your wishes, causing extreme stress, chaos and uncertainty.
We believe something as important as estate planning should be easy, which is why we have a dedicated team to help you develop your essential estate plan. We'll help you to create the five essential estate planning legal documents easily for a fixed price.
Maurice Blackburn will work with you to prepare five essential documents.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to nominate one or more people to act on your behalf for legal, financial and personal decisions. This power can start when you decide and continues to be effective if you lose the ability to make your own decisions.
If you don’t have an Enduring POA in place? There could be uncertainty about who is in charge of making decisions on your behalf, which could lead to family tension and pressure on certain members.
The appointment of a Medical Treatment Decision Maker is different to a POA, as they are tasked specifically with making medical decisions for you if you are ill or injured and unable to make them for yourself.
If you don’t have an Medical Treatment Decision Maker in place? The law determines who will make medical decisions for you. This may not be the person you want— or is best suited—to making these decisions.
In relation to your medical decisions, you are also able to prepare a second document called an Advance Care Directive which allows you to record your wishes regarding treatment and communicate them to your Medical Treatment Decision Maker so that they have an understanding of what is important to you.
If you don’t have an Advance Care Directive in place? Those making decisions on your behalf are not sure about your preferences including end-of-life care, again causing emotional distress.
A Will is a legal document that enables you to determine how your ‘estate’ is to be distributed after your death. This includes your money, property, shares, investments and possessions. You should also make decisions about how your superannuation is dealt with when you make your Will.
If you don’t have a Will in place? You die intestate. This means that the intestacy formula determines how and to whom your estate is distributed. This in turn can create family disputes and may not be in line with what you want or expect.
A Statement of Wishes is a separate document to your Will. A Statement of Wishes is not binding but can assist your executors when it comes time to administer your estate. It can include instructions about your funeral, the disposal of your body and how you want your personal possessions deal with.
At Maurice Blackburn, we store your Statement of Wishes with your Will so that executors have everything they need to administer your estate.
If you don’t have a Statement of Wishes in place? There could be uncertainty from loved ones about how you would have liked things to be handled after your passing.
These five essential legal and medical documents work hand in hand to protect your loved ones in the event you become incapacitated, or if you pass away. Failure to prepare these documents can create uncertainty and stress for family and friends, leaving them guessing your wishes.
The cost of not planning your estate is far greater than the cost of planning it. Don’t put it off any longer, as your family will always be better off with these documents in place.
Call 1800 519 740 to make an appointment with our expert lawyers.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.