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  • Londi Gramelis

What the ‘C’ Word and ‘Life Admin’ has meant for many Australians

The forever famous ‘C’ Word – COVID-19, which many of us are well and truly over hearing about it. Seeing it on the news, being reminded of it at shopping centres with masked customers and preparing for second waves of this pandemic is seeing a rise of more organised Australians.

According to latest research, many of us are now sorting out our ‘life admin’ – specifically, writing our Wills!

As morbid as the process can feel, the coronavirus has taught us to now be on edge, that life is unpredictable. We have had to face our fears in some way – be it falling ill or losing a job.

With all these anxieties, concerns and unknowns spinning endlessly in our minds, for many Australians, there has been that pressing need to get our estate affairs in order for that ‘just in case’ scenario.

More than ever before, we are seeing more and more young clients wanting to get some of those ‘life admin’ tasks ticked off. Many clients attempt to write their own Will using a Will Kit, however, it becomes a risky option as it could increase the risk of the Will being deemed invalid on a technicality or somebody challenging it. It often leads to a recipe for disaster and your loved ones are left to try and clean up the mess. Ms Londi Gramelis, Principal Lawyer at First Choice Family Lawyers likes the customised approach to developing the Will with you and ensure that it suits your personal needs. Londi strives to give you that invaluable reassurance and peace of mind, knowing your future is secure for you and your loved ones.

So, what is it that you may need to think about when drawing up your Will?

You need to consider what it is you want to give away. Make a list of all the assets you own. Property, Jewellery, vehicles, watches, shares, superannuation, savings and so on. It is best that you prepare this list before meeting your preferred lawyer. Consider who you might wish to appoint as the executor of your Will to ensure that your testamentary wishes are carried out. Londi, recommends that you always appoint two people if this option is available to you. That way, if one is unable or unwilling to act, the other executor can complete their role. Consider who you wish to inherit from your estate and, also consider who you don’t want to inherit that might make a claim to challenge the Will ie, estranged children, ex-spouses etc.

The Will of course only takes effect once you have passed away. Londi recommends that when preparing your Will, it is prudent of you to also instruct your lawyer to prepare an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Enduring Guardian which are documents that cater specifically for your financial affairs, health and lifestyle in the event that you have not passed away but a GP has deemed you to have lost capacity to make decisions for yourself.

Enduring Power of Attorney

This document legally appoints one or more people of your choosing empowering them to step into your shoes as if they were you and handle your financial affairs for you, for your benefit or the benefit of others that you specifically name in the document ie, your children or spouse. The most popular option is to choose for it to be enforceable only once a Doctor has deemed you to have lost capacity to handle your own financial affairs if for instance, you have fallen ill or have been diagnosed with a condition that impairs your mind.

Enduring Guardian

Similarly, and Enduring Guardian appoints someone of your choosing who you can REALLY trust to make decisions in relation to your health and lifestyle if Doctor has deemed you to lack capacity to make your own decisions. This person will have the power to decide where you will live, what type of health care you will receive.

Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardians are not excessively expensive exercises and, it certainly takes the pressure of your shoulders knowing that you and your loved ones will be okay for all those just in case scenario’s we don’t see coming, like the ‘C-Word.’

Let us know if you would like us to assist you with your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian so that you can tick it off your ‘Life Admin’ tasks and speak to Londi Gramelis at First Choice Family Lawyers, located in Beverly Hills today who has a wealth of experience for you to benefit from.

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