The Coronavirus has had a massive impact on society. This pandemic has led to many of our clients, Australians and for that matter people across the globe to re-think what would happen if they or members of their family get sick, and in particular, what about the elderly members of the family over age 60 who seem to be more susceptible
We don’t have answers to these questions but what we do know is that it is important, if not vital, to ensure, while fit, competent and able that you safeguard your financial affairs by giving a spouse, relative or close associate your enduring power of attorney (EPOA). This enables your EPOA to act on your behalf if you become sick, are quarantined for a long time or become incapable of managing your financial or health affairs. In addition your EPOA may be given the power to take your position as trustee of a self-managed super fund if your deed allows. Each State has its own EPOA legal requirements which we are on top of.
Apart from an EPOA, it is also important to put in place a Will or revisit your Will if it has not been looked at in the last two to three years. The coronavirus shows us that change can happen quickly and we must prepare for change. A great safeguard, at this very moment is to put in place an Enduring Power of Attorney and create/update your Will and that of your closest loved ones. So many young families have neither document, relying on the Courts to solve these issues and as you can see from recent times, this is not ideal with backlogs and even the quarantining or closure of some Courts.
We have teamed up with Lawyers and specialist estate planning advisers, Abbott & Mourly to provide an EPOA and Wills package not only in these challenging times but ongoing. We have been suggesting it to clients when we do reviews but now see the absolute importance of implementing it for all of our clients and their families. Having EPOA’s and a current will is too important to leave for another day given the circumstances we find ourselves in.
The Process is simple and quick if you get your EPOA and Executors right
The person who you nominate as your EPOA can also be the Executor of your Will to ensure safety, certainty, security and continuity. It may be more than one – known as joint EPOAs and Executors. The person or persons you choose will look after your financial, health and super affairs in the event of an illness or death. In addition they will be tasked as Executor with looking after your estate upon your death, managing any of your specific gifts such as property going to one or more family members, jewellery to grandchildren and well anything you desire. They can also limit any disposition of your estate to your lineage – which is your direct descendants or to bloodline only which may include brothers and sisters in the event that a main or specific beneficiary is not alive.
mportant: Build a line of EPOAs and Executors: Abbott & Mourly lawyers advise that you should provide a successor EPOA and Executor in case, when the time comes, the person or persons you appointed cannot or might not want to take up the role you have endowed upon them. And it does not hurt to have a second successor EPOA and Executor. Safety, certainty and security are paramount. If something happens we want to make sure your family are looked after quickly.