Have you been thinking about making a will but been too busy to get around to it? Unfortunately, many people put off making their wills until it is too late. When someone dies without a will the law dictates who inherits their property and in what proportions. This can mean that what happens is not what the deceased would have wanted, and can mean that needy, deserving people miss out. Additionally, even if your desires seem straight forward (for instance, everything to my spouse) the paperwork and other difficulties that are associated with Letters of Administration is very stressful, at a time when they are already dealing with other issues (like grief, fighting family members, or looking after children without your help).
By making a will you can do something to avoid unintended consequences and be much more confident that your assets will go to the people you want them to go to.
A will can deal with not only who receives your assets but also things such as:
- who will be the guardian of your minor children,
- who will be the trustee, looking after the assets whilst children are young,
- whether you want to be cremated, what you want done with your ashes, or what type of funeral you want.
If you suspect that someone might make a claim against your estate when you die then we can help you draft the will so as to help your executor fight any such claims.
Even if you have previously made a will, you should think about whether it needs to be updated because your circumstances have changed since you made the earlier will. Perhaps you have been married (or divorced) since you made it. Perhaps your assets have changed. Have you accumulated superannuation funds, bought real estate, etc?
Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship
You also need to consider what will happen if you are seriously injured or become very sick so that you cannot look after yourself or do not have mental capacity to make decisions for yourself any more, but you are still alive.
Now, while you still have full mental capacity, you can sign documents (Appointment of Enduring Guardianship and Power of Attorney) which set out who will make decisions for you if you lose mental capacity and give guidance as to what they should do. You can then ensure that the person making decisions for you is someone you trust, and who you would want to be speaking for you if you were not able to do so.
Whilst no one likes to think about their death or the possible loss of their mental capacity, the time to do something about it is whilst you are healthy and your mental capacity cannot be questioned.
Naturally we will be happy to help you prepare any of these documents. You are welcome to come and see us for a no obligation consultation to discuss any questions you may have. If you have an existing will we will look at it for you to see if any changes are needed, as part of the initial consultation.
Our current charges for wills, powers of attorney and/or appointment of enduring guardian are:
- For a single person: $600 inc GST
- For a couple: $750 inc GST
Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship (ie no will)
- For a single person: $600 inc GST
- For a couple: $670 inc GST
Wills and PoA and Guardianship,
- For a single person: $900 inc GST
- For a couple: $1100 inc GST
Home visits normally cost an additional $150, which includes up to two visits.
These prices include all steps up to and including:
- obtaining instructions from you and giving you advice in regard to the documents,
- drafting the documents and sending them to you for you to approve/check,
- making any requested changes and retyping the documents, several times if necessary, and
- you executing the final documents and us witnessing the signing of the documents by you and anyone else who has to sign them, at our office or your home, and
- storing your documents in a deed packet at our office and keeping them for you as long as you wish.
If you want us to do this we will give you copies of the documents with a notation on the front page recording where the originals are located.