At Torres Lawyers, we recognise the importance of planning for your future and the future of your family.
Wills & Probate
The consequences of not making a Will can be very serious.
A Will is a legal document that names the people you want to receive the property and possessions you own at the date of your death. These people are known as your beneficiaries.
It is crucial to make a legally enforceable Will to ensure your assets are protected and distributed in the way you intended following your death. This is particularly important if you have a family or other dependants.
At Torres Lawyers, we can prepare your Will and provide you with a comprehensive yet plain English approach to planning for the protection of your assets and ensuring your requirements and testamentary wishes are met.
We can also provide you with assistance in obtaining Probate and in dealing with the duties and obligations of estate administration.
A grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is essentially the authority necessary to deal with a person’s estate in that way. It is a document issued by the Supreme Court, confirming the legal validity of a Will and which empowers the executors of the estate to administer the wishes of the testator or Will maker.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives another person or organisation the authority to act for you while you are still alive.
You can appoint an attorney to act for you in a variety of circumstances such as an extended overseas trip, or for a time when you are no longer able to manage your own affairs.
Appointing an attorney is a safeguard for your interests and those of your loved ones. Should you become unable to look after your own legal and financial affairs due to unforeseen events such as injury, ill health or unsoundness of mind, giving Power of Attorney means your interests are protected regardless of what may happen in the future. You may also simply wish for someone else to take over your legal and financial affairs.
The document states what the attorney is authorised to do. This can be quite specific, or as general as you wish. A Power of Attorney gives your attorney the power to take care of your legal and financial matters in accordance with your instructions. This may mean collecting your income, dealing with real estate, paying for outgoings and collecting any rent.
Any lawful action taken by the attorney under the Power of Attorney is binding on you, so it is important to appoint someone you can trust.
There are two types of Power of Attorney – active and enduring.
An ‘active’ Power of Attorney is one where you direct the attorney to act immediately for you in accordance with your instructions.
You can also sign a Power of Attorney which remains dormant and is activated only if required.
An ‘enduring’ Power of Attorney continues to operate even if you later become unable to make legal and financial decisions due to disability or illness.
Even though you have appointed an attorney, you can still personally carry out any transactions, such as banking and dealing with real estate, while you retain the ability to do so.
One way of planning for your future is to appoint an Enduring Guardian.
If you can no longer make your own health and lifestyle decisions because of an accident, illness or disability, an Enduring Guardianship allows you to legally appoint a substitute decision-maker of your choice to make those lifestyle and health care decisions should you lose the capacity to make your own decisions at some time in the future. These include where you should live and what medical treatment and services you should receive.
The NSW legislation governing enduring guardianship is the Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW). An Enduring Guardian appointed under the NSW legislation can make decisions which will affect the person under guardianship when they are in NSW.
The appointment of your Enduring Guardian takes effect only if you lose the capacity to make your own personal health and lifestyle decisions.
A person in need of a Guardian means a person who, because of a disability, is totally or partially incapable of making decisions.
We can help
We know the potential pitfalls, and will ask you all the right questions to make sure that you have considered every possibility.
Contact us to discuss your particular situation and your family’s needs.