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Everyone needs a will. It is one of the most important documents you will ever sign and goes a long way toward avoiding family conflict surrounding your estate and can save loved ones a great deal of distress. A clearly written will allows you to take control and publicly declare your values and wishes by:

  • choosing who will receive your assets and belongings after you die
  • choosing who will be responsible for your estate (your executor)
  • deciding who will be appointed guardian of your children until they can look after themselves.
  • providing for children from a previous relationship
  • providing for a de facto partner
  • excluding a beneficiary who may otherwise gain from your estate

At Tim Clarke & Co Lawyers we have the experience to draw up a clearly written will, considering issues such as your capacity to make a will and possible claims which may arise in terms of the others contesting your will.

You may already have a will, but it should be reviewed regularly. There are many reasons for changing your will, for example:

  • you begin a new career or start a new business
  • you marry or enter into a de facto relationship
  • you buy a house
  • your assets increase substantially
  • you dispose of assets mentioned in your will
  • you have children
  • your children reach adulthood
  • you have grandchildren
  • you divorce or separate
  • you retire
  • a beneficiary or executor dies

Your will needs to be kept in a safe place. Please talk to us about keeping your will secure in a fireproof will safe.

A will has a legal force after your death. A power of attorney is for your financial affairs while you are alive. A guardian can look after your medical and lifestyle needs. By making both an enduring power of attorney, which covers legal and financial affairs, and an enduring power of guardianship, for medical and lifestyle decisions, you are effectively making a ‘living will’, to ensure that your wishes are known should you be unable to make decisions for yourself.

Power of attorney - read more ...

A general power of attorney is a legal document that authorises another person to act on your behalf. You choose someone that you trust to ‘stand in your shoes’  to make financial and legal decisions for you rather than someone the government may appoint to make those decisions on your behalf.

An enduring power of attorney continues to operate even though you may later become of unsound mind, for example if you are unable to communicate after a stroke or you become mentally incapable. You cannot make a power of attorney after you become or unsound mind, so it is important to make an enduring power of attorney in order for your financial affairs to be managed by someone you know and trust.

Enduring power of guardianship - read more ...

Guardians can make decisions about your medical treatment, your lifestyle and personal welfare to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled. This very important legal document allows the person you choose to make these crucial decisions for you.

Medical power or attorney - read more ...

If you need significant medical attention but are unable to make decisions because of your age, illness or accident, who will make these decisions on your behalf?

You may already be covered if you have an enduring power of guardianship, but please talk to us to ensure that you are covered.

Advance directive - read more ...

You may wish to register an advance directive; a legal document conveying your decisions about your medical care ahead of time. This is a way for you to communicate your wishes to doctors, family and friends in order to avoid confusion if the situation arises.

Testamentary trusts - read more ...

Rather than assets passing directly to a beneficiary, a testamentary trust allows the assets to pass to a trustee who holds it in trust for the beneficiary, usually an infant, child or beneficiary with intellectual or medical disabilities. There may also be capital gains and income tax advantages . Please speak to us about your circumstances – it may be wise for you to create a testamentary trust.

Organ donation - read more ...

It is important to register your decision about becoming an organ donor on the Australian Organ Donor Register. Even if you have previously registered your decision elsewhere (for example by ticking a box on your driver’s licence renewal) it is still important that you register on the Australian Organ Donor Register to ensure that your donation decision can be verified 24 hours a day, seven days a week by authorised personnel anywhere in Australia.