[Date: 26 February 2022]
What is a Will and why do you need one?
A Will is a legal document detailing how your assets are to be distributed when you die. Upon your death, your assets will be distributed according to your Will. However if you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to laws in your state and not necessarily in accordance with your wishes.
A Will also allows you to appoint a guardian for your children and trustees to manage the property of your children. If you die without a Will while any of your children are minors, the court will appoint guardians and trustees who may not be those you had envisaged appointing to care for your children.
What is a Power of Attorney and why do you need one?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document appointing a person to manage your financial affairs. A Power of Attorney can become effective immediately or only if you become unable to do so. If you become unable to manage your financial affairs without having already appointed a Power of Attorney, it is likely that you will be unable to create one at that point, and your loved ones would have to apply for a legal order to have someone appointed. This process is complex and can be emotionally taxing on your family members.
What is an Advance Care Directive and why do you need one?
An Advance Care Directive is a legal document appointing a person to manage your medical care and end of life decisions if you become unable to do so. Similar to a Power of Attorney, if you become unable to manage your medical care and end of life decisions without already having created an Advance Care Directive, you will not be able to create one. In this case, your loved ones will again have to apply for a legal order which can be time-consuming and emotional.
Why you should have your Will, Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive prepared by a lawyer.
Having a Will helps ensure that upon your death your assets will be distributed in the way which you intended for your loved ones to benefit. Having a Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive will prevent your loved ones from suffering any additional stress in the unfortunate event of you becoming unable to manage your financial affairs, medical affairs and end of life decisions.
Wills, Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directives are all complex legal documents, and having a lawyer prepare these documents for you will ensure that the documents are prepared correctly to avoid any technical issues in their preparation and execution, and to minimise the likelihood that they can be successfully contested by someone who has not been named in any of the documents. Small errors can lead to documents being invalid which ultimately leads to excessive time and costs to seek to have the issues rectified (if at all possible).
If you would like one of our lawyers to assist you in preparing your Will, Power of Attorney or Advance Care Directive, please contact the Zed Legal team – email@example.com. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with us at www.zed.legal/booking/.
If you would like one of our lawyers to assist you in preparing your Will, Power of Attorney or Advance Care Directive, please contact the Zed Legal team – firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with us at www.zed.legal/booking/Zed Legal’s blog and articles are made available for educational purposes only as well as to provide general information – but not to provide legal advice.
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