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Legal Basics: Wills, Guardianship and Powers of Attorney

in Blog, News

In this series we answer the basic questions that many people ask.

This week it is all about wills, guardianship agreements and powers of attorney.

So what are they and when do you execute them?

Wills

A will is quite simply a legal document which sets out how you would like your estate (which consists of your belongings and assets) to be distributed. It dictates essentially “who gets what”. There are certain rules that need to be followed to constitute a legally valid will but done properly it ensures that there is no uncertainty as to how your assets shall be distributed amongst your family and friends.

In a will you will not only have to appoint beneficiaries of your estate but at least one executor to manage your estate.

Guardianship Agreement

A guardianship agreement is legal document which sets out who should be your guardian should you no longer have the capacity to manage yourself. A guardian primarily deals with the health care and lifestyle needs of the person. A legally appointed guardian can decide what treatments a person receives, what surgery they can undertake, any dental needs, or whether they should be in a nursing home.

Generally medical practitioners will be obliged to liaise with and accept instructions from the guardian. You can appoint more than one guardian.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document which appoints a person or persons to manage the financial and legal affairs of a person. Generally, the person or persons appointed can do such things as access their bank accounts, sign legal documents, buy or sell property and a host of other actions.

A power of attorney is terminated on the death of a person and from there it will be the executor or executors under the will that will assume most legal duties.

Do you require a Will, Guardianship Agreement or Power of Attorney? See one of our experienced Solicitors today. Call 02 9667 1271 or email law@vrtlawyers.com.au