A Will is a very formal and important document which provides for the distribution of a person’s property, to take effect on that person’s death.
It can also outline a person’s wishes in relation to the guardianship of their children and other matters such as the powers held by the Executor and Trustee of their Estate.
Anyone over the age of 18, and anyone under 18 who is married or contemplating marriage, can make a will, provided they have testamentary capacity.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you (the ‘principal’) to nominate one or more persons (referred to as an attorney) to act on your behalf. A Power of Attorney gives the attorney the authority to manage your legal and financial affairs, including buying and selling real estate, shares and other assets, operating your bank accounts and spending money on your behalf. You can choose to have an Enduring Power of Attorney, which will continue even if you lose mental capacity to manage your own affairs.
An Enduring Guardian is someone you appoint to make lifestyle, health and medical decisions on your behalf when you are incapable of making those decisions for yourself. Your Enduring Guardian may make decisions such as where you live, what services are provided to you at home and what medical treatment you receive. An Enduring Guardianship only comes into effect if or when you lose capacity. Some people choose to have an Enduring Guardian as a way to plan for the future and in case unforeseen circumstances arise.
You should seek legal advice if you are thinking about getting a Will, and/or appointing a Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardian.