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Wills & Estate Planning

Wills-and-Estates

Will Drafting

Planning for your future is important at any age. We know that drafting a will can be a sensitive issue but it is important that your wishes be adhered to. Grief is difficult. Grief and dealing with a financial mess is even worse for the loved ones you leave behind. At the same time as executing your will, we strongly advise that you also have in place Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive documents should you be unable to make your own decisions whilst still be alive.

 

Probate and Letters of Administration

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is devastating. Having to deal with the paperwork and administration of their estate on top of this can be too much. Let CARES Lawyers take the stress away by handling this. Not only will the matter be handled with the utmost of professionalism, but most importantly it will be handled by our caring lawyers who will show genuine compassion for you and your family at this sad time.

 

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is devastating…
Having to deal with paperwork can be overwhelming!
Let CARES Lawyers help you to ease the burden with Care!

Common questions about Wills & Estates

A Will is a legal document which expresses your wishes upon your death. If you do not have a will your wishes may not be carried out. It also makes it more difficult for the loved ones you leave behind to deal with your assets.
An executor is in charge of carrying out your wishes as stated in your will.
An executor should be somebody you trust. You may appoint more than one person. You should discuss this with the person to make sure they will agree to this as an executor may decide not to accept the role. You should also tell your executor where they can find your original will.
A person or organisation who will receive a benefit from your will.
Your will should be reviewed every 2-3 years or when your personal circumstances change. This includes: a change in your relationship status (e.g. marriage, separation and divorce), birth of children or grandchildren, purchase and sale of property, death or change of relationship with beneficiary or death or change of relationship with executor.
Your original will should be kept safe. We suggest a fire proof safe, in your bank safe deposit or with the Registrar of the Supreme Court (please ensure your executor knows where the original will is kept and can access it when the time comes).
Probate is the legal process of proving that a will is valid. Sometimes probate may not be necessary. It is best to check with us first. Most certainly if a house is in the deceased’s sole name, probate will be required before the house can be distributed.
The Rules of Probate of South Australia must be adhered to before Probate is granted. The forms must be completed in a certain way. Often these kits are drafted for other states or as they create more questions than answers, lawyers have to sort out the mess and legal fees may cost more as a result. Leave the stress behind and let us complete the process efficiently and professionally.
If there is no will, letters of administration will be required by the Supreme Court in order for the assets and liabilities of an estate to be dealt with.
A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an ‘attorney’ to make financial and property decisions on your behalf. A Power of Attorney only operates whilst you are still alive, thus sometimes it is referred to as a ‘living will’.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) operates even though you may be legally incapacitated (i.e. lose the ability to make your own decisions). For example, become senile, suffer from dementia, suffer from a brain injury, mental disorder, intellectual impairment, stroke, and no longer able to communicate.
An Advance Care Directive allows you to record your wishes and instructions for your future health care, end of life, preferred living arrangements and other personal matters. An Advance Care Directive also allows you to appoint one or more Substitute Decision-Makers to make these decisions if you are unable to do so. An Advance Care Directive only operates whilst you are still alive, thus sometimes referred to as a ‘living will’
  • If one of your attorneys or substitute decisions makers die or they no longer wish to act.
  • If your relationship changes and you no longer trust them.
  • If you wish to change/add any conditions.
If you are incapable of making your own decisions and you do not have these documents in place the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT), now incorporates the Guardianship Board may become involved. This makes it a lot more difficult for loved ones you leave behind.

In relation to an Advance Care Directive if you do not make your wishes known, it can be extremely difficult for them to be adhered to. Even though family may be doing their best, they may be making decisions that you would not have consented to.

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