HHG Legal Group’s Wills & Estate Planning team’s Senior Associate Lucy Ferreira and Senior Law Clerk Aimee Christian provide clarity on some of the most frequently misunderstood aspects of creating a will.
Q: What is the difference between an enduring power of attorney & an enduring power of guardianship?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that enables a person to appoint a trusted person to make financial and/or property decisions on their behalf.
An Enduring Power of Guardian is a legal document that enables a person to appoint a trusted person to make health and lifestyle decisions on their behalf.
Q: What happens if I separate or get divorced from the person appointed as my attorney under my enduring power of attorney?
When you separate or get divorced, your Enduring Power of Attorney is not automatically revoked. If you no longer wish the person that you have appointed to act as your attorney, you will need to revoke your current Enduring Power of Attorney document and prepare a new one.
Q: If I have made an enduring power of attorney, they can sort everything out if I die, can’t they?
This is not correct. Providing someone power of attorney does not result in that person becoming executor of your estate. If the deceased does not have a will then the deceased dies intestate.
Q: How will my executor pay for my funeral?
If there are sufficient funds in your bank account, your executor can present the funeral invoice to the bank and they will arrange payment.
Q: I made a will many years ago & nothing has changed. Is it still valid and does it still ‘work’?
Not always. There are a number of reasons why your Will may not be valid, and the law is changing all the time. We always recommend you review your Will at least every 5 years.
Q: I don’t own anything and what I do own will just go to my partner anyway, right?
No this is not correct! It depends on your personal circumstances and how your assets are owned. In Western Australia if you die without a Will then the law decides who will get your assets – and this may not be who you wanted.
About HHG Legal Group’s Wills & Estate Planning Team
HHG Legal Group has been assisting Western Australian families, businesses and individuals with their Estate and Succession Planning for over 100 years. We have a highly experienced and regarded team of Wills, Estates & Succession Planning lawyers working collaboratively across all four of our offices in Perth, Albany, Mandurah & Joondalup to ensure our clients get the right expertise and the best legal advice available.
If you don’t have a Will or require a review of your current Will, we will ensure your wishes regarding your estate are properly documented.
Please contact our Wills and Estate Planning team on (08) 9322 1966 with your queries or book an appointment online today – Face-to-face, video or telephone meetings are available.