A hand with a pen and notepad

Wills & Powers of Attorney

Wills –

Without a valid will, you deprive yourself of the opportunity of deciding how your assets are dealt with upon your death. 

Power of Attorney – 

Have you decided who will manage your affairs when you are no longer able to do so?

Our experienced team provides quality advice regarding Powers of Attorney to ensure that your wishes as to the management of your affairs are properly recorded and binding.  

By appointing an Attorney, your affairs will continue to be managed by a person or organisation that you trust, and more importantly, your chosen Attorney will know of your instructions and act in accordance with your wishes when carrying out the role.

Wills & Power of Attorney

Making a will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. 

Without one, you deprive yourself of the opportunity of deciding how your assets are to be dealt with after your death. By ensuring you leave a valid Will, you know that upon your death, your assets will be managed and distributed in accordance with your wishes.  

What is a Will?

Your Will is a written and binding legal document which formalises your wishes regarding your assets and how those assets are to be disposed of after you pass away.

Who can make a Will?

Any adult person can make a Will in Victoria if they have the requisite testamentary capacity to understand that they are making a Will and the implications of making a Will. 

Why is it important to have a Will?

On your death, your estate includes any assets you own at the time of death, including cash, savings, investments and real property.

Leaving a valid Will appoints a person or organisation of your choosing to manage your estate (your executor), and provides them with instructions as to how your estate is to be administered. 

Dying without a valid Will is known as dying ‘intestate’. Without a valid Will, your estate is administered in accordance with the law governing an intestate estate to family members, irrespective of your wishes. 

Some factors that you may also need to consider when making a Will are things like: 

  1. Appointing the right person to manage the estate
  2. Appointing a suitable guardian to care for minor children 
  3. Whether any trust is to be established to maximise your assets and to protect vulnerable beneficiaries 
  4. How blended families and children from a previous relationship will benefit upon your death
  5. Leaving gifts such as jewellery, artwork, collectibles or legacy payment to specific people. 
  6. Providing details as to funeral or cremation wishes
  7. Whether you are omitting any person from your will, who is considered an eligible person to bring a claim for provision from your estate.

Our team has decades of experience in advising will makers, drafting wills and finding solutions for the full range of testamentary options. Irrespective of the size of your estate and the complexity of your financial affairs we have the expertise to draft your will to take account of the testamentary outcome which you seek.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a deed that allows you (the principal) to nominate a trusted person or organisation (the appointed Attorney) to make financial and/or personal if you are no longer able to do make those decisions yourself.

What are the different types of Power of Attorney?

The three main types of powers are: 

  1. General power of Attorney 
  2. Enduring Power of Attorney (financial) which is used for financial, legal and personal decisions

The choice of the person or persons who is/are to take responsibility for decisions with regard to your financial and medical affairs must be considered carefully in view of the weight of responsibility that the attorney bears.

The attorney you appoint to manage your financial affairs has statutory and fiduciary duties which include acting in your best interests and avoiding any conflict of interest.

An attorney operating under an Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial) must keep and preserve accurate accounts and records of all dealings and transactions and ensure that he or she receives no financial benefit from the office of attorney unless this is authorised by the power.

A power of attorney ceases on death.

What about medical treatment?

You can appoint a medical treatment decision maker to make decisions about your medical treatment when you no longer have decision-making capacity to do so yourself.

You can also sign an Advance Care Directive which addresses your wishes and values with regard to medical treatment. This document must be witnessed by a medical practitioner and is binding on your medical treatment decision maker.

If you do not appoint a medical treatment decision maker, legislation determines who makes your medical treatment decisions for you.

A medical treatment decision maker must act in accordance with any Advance Care Directive you sign.

For more information or to speak with one of our lawyers please contact our office: 03 9646 4477

Trusted & Responsive Specialists.

Do you need tailored and thorough legal advice?