There are fundamental differences between Wills and Powers of Attorney. It is important to note these differences as the two documents function in varied ways and are used for different purposes, such as outlined in the following content. To assist in getting the most out of an appointment with us when considering your options, we recommend you review the contents of this page prior to arranging an appointment with us.
Planning for your family’s future by making a Will ensures that your estate is received by those who you wish to benefit after you are gone. If you take the time now to prepare an effective legally binding Will, you can save your family the emotional and financial stress in what will undoubtedly be a difficult time for them.
Things you need to consider when making a Will are outlined below.
Who will be your Executor/s?
Your Executors have the legal and administrative task of sorting out your assets and liabilities (debts) after you pass, while making sure that your wishes as outlined in the Will are upheld.
Who will benefit from your Estate?
You can nominate anyone as a beneficiary and distribute your assets in any way you like, however there is an obligation on you to provide adequately for certain classes of dependants. Failure to provide for these persons adequately may mean your Will is contested by those who have been left out of your Will.
Who will be the guardian of my Infant Children after I am gone?
You can appoint a trusted individual to look after your children in the event that there is no surviving parent to do so. You should consider this option carefully and discuss this with the proposed guardian prior to appointing them in this role.
How often should I review my Will?
You should review your current Will after any major events, for example marriage, divorce, property purchase or sale, death of a beneficiary, or if your assets change significantly. Even if there have been no significant events, we recommend that you take a look at your Will every couple of years to make sure that it is still reflects your wishes.
Should you wish to arrange an appointment for advice on making a Will, please contact our office on (07) 5630 6539, complete the ‘Online Enquiry’ form on our Contact Us page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Powers of Attorney
There are three types of documents used in Queensland to appoint others to make certain decisions on your behalf:
- General Power of Attorney;
- Enduring Power of Attorney;
- Advance Health Directive.
General Power of Attorney
A general Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives one or more individuals nominated by you, specific authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. This power ceases if you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs. This kind of Power of Attorney is most often used for commercial transactions, such as where you are to be overseas for a prolonged period and require another person to manage your affairs for you.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney is similar to a general power of attorney, however this document continues to take effect even in the event that you can no longer manage your own affairs. This document also allows you to cover both financial and personal/health decisions, meaning that in the event of an accident or illness which prevents you from continuing to make your own decisions the nominated and appointed person can continue to make decisions on your behalf.
Advance Health Directives
Advance Health Directives help you plan the type of medical treatment or health care you that you wish to receive in the event that you are too ill to make those kinds of decisions for yourself. This document will also enable you to make any special information known to medical staff, for example allergies to certain medication/s or religious beliefs that impact upon the types of treatments acceptable to you.
Without an Advance Health Directive in place, there is no legal means to make your wishes known or provide instructions as to when life sustaining measures should be withheld.
It is a good idea to have both a Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Directive in place concurrently. If you become so ill that you cannot make decisions for yourself, these two documents together allow your attorney to make necessary decisions on your behalf.
If you have any questions or wish to arrange an appointment please contact our office on (07) 5630 6539, complete the ‘Online Enquiry’ form on our Contact Us page, or email us at email@example.com.