Make sure will is in right hands
BY SANDRA SIAGIAN
TIMES have changed since a simple will could cover all assets for a beneficiary. These days estate planning requires a few more documents to ensure everything goes to the right place when you die. Testamentary trust wills, living wills, powers of attorney and enduring guardianships are just a few examples of the powers that can be put in place to safeguard future beneficiaries. Adeline Schiralli, a solicitor from the estate planning division of Willis & Bowring Solicitors at Miranda, said many people were unaware of the complications that a simple will could cause for their beneficiaries in the future. “Many people want to simplify their affairs and believe that putting in place a simple will or estate plan will make things a lot easier for their families,” Mrs Schiralli. “What they don’t understand is that sometimes a simple will can create far greater problems and can be far more costly for themselves and their beneficiaries down the track.” Mrs Schiralli said many people with wills had not considered appointing someone to look after their affairs in the event that they lose capacity. “A will is only operational once the will-maker dies,” Mrs Schiralli said. “A lot of people are not aware that an executor does not have the power to make decisions on behalf of the will-maker if that person is still alive but has lost capacity.” Wills & Bowring Solicitors: 9525 8100. ESTATE planning check list: ¦ A will can be typed or handwritten to be accepted in court, and it can be altered at any time if your circumstances change. ¦ Testamentary trusts provides the trustee with full discretion about who benefits and to what extent under the trust. It has two significant advantages for a will-maker and the nominated beneficiaries. There are taxation advantages in terms of income splitting and it protects assets from any financial or other difficulties that the beneficiaries may suffer. ¦ Powers of attorney is a formal document which allows a person to act in the name of and on behalf of the person giving the power. The person must be at least 18. ¦ Enduring guardian is someone chosen to make a personal or lifestyle decision on your behalf when you are not capable of doing it yourself. You can choose which decisions you want the guardian to carry out. ¦ Living wills can assist those providing medical or other care when a person can not communicate directly.