6 things to do before it is too late

When it comes to Estate Planning, it is important to consider a wholistic approach to preparing for your future whether it be that you lose capacity to do day to day things or pass away. Knowing that you have your affairs in order will help you enjoy living the rest of your life even more.

From speaking to numerous clients and hearing their stories, Wills & Estates has put together a list of things to do before it is too late.

1. Write a Will

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that getting your Will sorted is your number one item to tick off your list. A Will is a legal document that helps you distribute your assets within your Estate and care for your children when you leave this Earth.

When you have a valid Will you can decide exactly who will benefit from your Estate. However, if you die intestate (without a valid Will) it is left in the hands of the law which is applicable in your State or Territory. Seeking advice from an expert can ensure that your Will is valid and isn't left open to be challenged after you are gone - ensuring that your wishes will be carried out and your loved ones will be taken care of.

2. Prepare an Advanced Care Directive

Next on the list is an Advanced Health Directive (AHD) which is also sometimes called an Advanced Care Directive. It is a document where you can give instructions about your future health care while you are living. An AHD comes into effect when you lose the capacity to make your own decisions which can occur for a range of different reasons including a brain injury or a disease such as Dementia. It can be as general or specific as you want it to be - from providing instructions if you have a terminal illness to whether you wish to be tube fed. An AHD can be helpful where you have allergies, health conditions or religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs that could impact upon the health care you wish to receive.

3. Appoint a Power of Attorney

A Will only operates once you are deceased. In contrast, an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) is a living document which means that it operates while you are alive. An EPOA is a document whereby you can appoint a person to make decisions on your behalf if you were to lose your capacity while you were alive. You can lose the capacity to make decisions for a range of different reasons including a brain injury or a disease such as Dementia. Depending on which State or Territory you live in, you can appoint your EPOA to make decisions about your money and/or your personal matters including your health care.

4. Legacy planning

Legacy planning is also another consideration that is often forgotten when preparing for your future. It is a part of estate planning and covers more than just preparing how you will distribute your property and assets to your loved ones after your death. Legacy planning is about the finer details like who will inherit a particular family heirloom or item with sentimental value. It could also be nominating that the bracelet your husband gave you on your first anniversary is to be given to your granddaughter.

Legacy planning can also coincide with setting up a family office with the goal being to effectively grow and transfer wealth across generations.

Leaving a legacy plan behind will help reduce the grieving process for your loved ones and have something to remember you by. This also includes leaving letters for your loved ones and saying things to them that you otherwise would not have had a chance to.

5. Plan funeral arrangements

A Will is a good place to outline your funeral wishes, however it is important to detail them in a separate document and speak about it with your loved ones. Funeral arrangements can include the following wishes: -Whether you want a funeral or memorial service -Where the service should be held -Whether you want to be cremated or buried -Where you would like your ashes stored or disposed of or where you want to be buried -If you have money set aside to pay for your funeral expenses

6. Make a bucket list

The last thing you should consider is writing a bucket list. This is a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying. This can include anything from traveling the world, driving a Ferrari or even learning how to play the guitar.

Writing a bucket list can also be a therapeutic exercise to give you more control of the life that you want to live. No one has a crystal ball which means we don’t know how much time we have left.

So, when you think about Estate Planning, it’s important to consider other factors when preparing for your end of life. The ultimate consideration is making your wishes known before it’s too late.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, contact us today!

Phone: 1800 22 33 90


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