The things we all prefer not having to face, but should prepare for...

MJ Law Practice can assist.

A Will ensures that your wishes are carried out after your death.  If you do not leave a Will, someone, usually a close family member, must apply to the Supreme Court of Queensland for Letters of Administration in order to gain authority to administer your estate. That person will be bound to distribute your estate according to a strict formula set out in the Intestacy Rules.  So, if you want to simplify the process for your family, and have a say in what happens after your death, you should make a Will.

Some things to consider when making a Will:

Who will be your Executor(s)?  This person (or people) will be responsible for locating and notifying all beneficiaries, safeguarding all valuables and assets, paying/collecting any debts, notifying all relevant institutions such as banks, Centrelink etc., selling/transferring any real estate or shares, setting up any necessary trusts, submitting tax returns, and distributing the estate in accordance with your Will. 

Who are your Beneficiaries? You can specify how your assets will be distributed after your death.  There may be certain assets or valuables that you want to give to a specific person, or you may not wish a beneficiary to have access to their inheritance until they reach a certain age.  It is possible to say what is to happen to a beneficiary's share should they predecease you.  You might want to consider leaving an endowment to a charity or towards medical research.

If you have young children...  You might wish to leave instructions regarding the care and education of your children.

If you have a blended family...  You should consider ensuring that your children from a previous marriage do not miss out if, for example, after your death your second spouse remarries.

Do you have any other specific instructions?  For example, regarding burial or cremation.

Do you wish to leave a bequest to a charity? 

Powers of Attorney

By giving a Power of Attorney you give another person authority to make certain decisions of your behalf.  You can end a Power of Attorney at any time provided you have capacity to make your own decisions.  

The type of Power of Attorney to be granted will depend upon your purpose and circumstances:  

  • A General Power of Attorney gives another person authority to make financial decisions only on your behalf for a specified period of time (e.g. while you are overseas) or for a specific event (e.g. to sell your house).  
    • It is important to note that a General Power of Attorney is valid only while you are still able to make your own decisions, and becomes invalid immediately should you lose capacity.  For example, if you had an accident while travelling overseas and lost capacity to make your own decisions, a General Power of Attorney immediately andautomatically ceases to have effect.
  • An Enduring Power of Attorney gives another person authority to make both financial and personal decisions on your behalf if you lose capacity to make your own decisions.  
    • An Enduring Power of Attorney is advisable if a person has failing health or is at risk of sudden loss of capacity to make decisions.  For example, if your spouse suddenly lost capacity due to a severe stoke and needed to go into a nursing home, you would need an Enduring Power of Attorney to be able to sell your home if it were held in both names.
  • An Advanced Health Directive may be given to your next-of-kinif you wish to specify what should happen in the event of various health conditions.

Revocation of Power of Attorney