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Wills, Powers of Attorney & Appointment of Enduring Guardian

Making a Legal Will is the most important part of estate planning and will give you peace of mind that the people you care about will be provided for.  It is important to have a Lawyer guide you through the process of making a valid Will.  

A Will is a legal document that sets out how you would like your assets distributed after your death.  You will need to appoint an executor who will manage your estate when you pass and administer your estate in accordance with your wishes.  It is also important to state how you wish your assets to be divided between your family members, friends or charities, these are called your beneficiaries.   You can also nominate a preference for a guardian of any minor children or incapacitated children.

Whether you need a standard Will, will depend on your circumstances and it is also important to remember that your Will should be reviewed if your circumstances change, such us marriage, divorce, birth, death or even if your children turning 18 years.

It is important to note that in some circumstances your Will may be contested. 

Whilst a Will provides for your asset distribution when you pass away, you should also consider who should make decisions on your behalf, should you be unable to make them for yourself.  A Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian are legal documents that appoints one or more person to act on your behalf.

A General Power of Attorney allows a person to make decisions about your legal and financial affairs, but will cease when you lose capacity to make decisions.  General Powers of Attorney are often used for specific purposes for example if the appointer is away on holidays or physically unable to manage their affairs for a period of time.

An Enduring Power of Attorney authorises an attorney to act if you lose mental capacity and allows the attorney to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. 

A Power of Attorney ceases on death or can be revoked by the appointer.

An Appointment of Enduring Guardian is a legal document that appoints one or more people to make healthcare and lifestyle decisions if you lose mental capacity.  For example medical and dental treatment, or decide where you live.  It is important to note that a guardian can only make these decisions for you if you lose the capacity to make those decisions yourself.

If there is a dispute about your treatment or how an attorney is exercising their authority an application can be made to the NSW Guardianship Tribunal.

A Will, Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian are important legal documents.  Contact Burns Krainz Legal & Conveyancing for legal advice on these documents.

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