What’s the best way to make sure my children will be okay if I die?

Have you just had a baby or become an Aunt or Uncle for the first time recently?  New born babies are the most precious things.  Doesn’t it just warm your heart to know that they will get the very best of everything in life because they are so loved.

Any thought that you will not be around to see them achieve greatness is a frightening one.  However, we all know too well (and often from first hand experience) that we cannot always control life’s journey for us and the unexpected can occur at the most unpredictable time.

The main thing, is making sure that the little ones left behind have everything they need to be protected and to excel in life.  This should automatically prompt you to think about what estate planning you need to have in place.  You are definitely going to need to invest in some quality advice and a properly prepared Will, as it is the best way to insure that your wishes will be carried out (in the event of your untimely death).

There is a lot of thought that goes into the estate planning process and some careful consideration needs to be given to the following questions:

Who should I appoint as my executor?

The role of an Executor of a Will is to administer the estate and distribute the assets in accordance with your wishes.

The Executors role may include:

  • Applying for probate;
  • Finding and notifying beneficiaries;
  • Checking and protecting assets;
  • Preparing tax returns;
  • Transferring or selling of assets.

It is important that you very carefully deliberate on who you consider would be a suitable and trustworthy person to act in this role.

Can I say who is to look after my children?

If you have young children, then you might want to consider appointing a guardian or guardians to look after them in the event of your untimely death. Your children are your greatest asset, so we would recommend choosing carefully.

Do I need a Power of Attorney?

Making a will is not the end of your estate planning needs.  To ensure that you have enough protection for your family, you are going to also need an enduring power of attorney.  The purpose of an enduring power of attorney is to appoint someone to look after your financial and health needs if you should lose capacity (either temporarily or permanently).

An enduring power of attorney is one of the most powerful documents you will ever sign.  When considering who to appoint it needs to be someone that you have implicit trust in.  It should be someone that you feel comfortable in discussing your wishes with have confidence that they will act out your instructions (particularly relating to your health care!) if you lose capacity.

Although thinking about your own death is not something that people like to do, but not taking time to plan for what will happen when you pass will only cause chaos for those you leave behind.  Don’t burden your family with concerns which can be so easily properly planned for.

If you would like to discuss more of what is involved in your estate planning, then give us a call on 4724 3910.

At Shuttleworth Legal we do our very best to make sure that you are put at ease regarding the legal process surrounding your estate planning from the moment you call or come to our office.