The only way that you can direct what will happen to your assets after your death is to make a Will. If you don't have a Will then your assets will be divided according to the Law. Not only is the Law inflexible, but it is likely to achieve a result that you do not want. Further, without a Will, an Administrator will be appointed for your Estate according to the Law. That person may be somebody other than the person that you would like to entrust with your assets. In the course of making a Will you appoint one or more persons to be your Executor and those persons nominated by you are put into the position of dealing with your assets in accordance with the wishes that you have expressed in your Will.
By making a Power of Attorney you give to a trusted person the power to conduct your legal and financial affairs while you are still alive. An Enduring Power of Attorney allows that trusted person to continue to look after your affairs during any period when you are incapacitated temporarily or permanently physically or through unsoundness of mind.
Should you have a Power of Attorney? This is a decision for you. They are extremely useful when people are travelling interstate or overseas, are in ill health, or are in their advanced years. In addition, however, none of us can predict when misfortune may strike and we may be unable to look after our own affairs for a period of time, or at all. None of us can predict a serious accident or illness that may strike us down. Having a Power of Attorney can enable people to transact banking and other business, pay your bills and take steps to protect your assets and wealth.
What happens if you don't have a Power of Attorney? In times when you lack capacity, your affairs are likely to be placed into the hands of the NSW Trustee & Guardian.
You can appoint a trusted person to be your Guardian to make personal, lifestyle and medical decisions for you in the event that you become unable to do so. This appointment is different to a Power of Attorney, which deals only with legal and financial matters.
You can give your Guardian wide or limited powers as you choose.
Subject to the powers that you give to your Guardian, your Guardian can make decisions on such matters as the best place for you to live, whether they or somebody else should care for you, and what medical treatment you should receive. The Guardian cannot, however, overrule any express direction you have given in relation to your medical treatment unless you give them the power to overrule such a decision.
For a wills solicitor in Blacktown contact Tel (02) 9621 7755
For a wills solicitor in Baulkham Hills Tel (02) 9686 2222