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Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Tuesday 5th of February 2019
By: Emmy Langmaid, Solicitor, Coote Family Lawyers

I appreciate your kindness and understanding in difficult circumstances.

Is your Estate Planning and that of your loved ones up to date? Have you talked with your family about whether you have a valid Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker in place?

Discussing “worst case” scenarios with those closest to you can be daunting. Most people find it challenging to initiate conversations about what might happen in the event that they were to pass away or lose decision-making capacity temporarily or even permanently.

However, uncomfortable though they may be, these conversations are essential if you want to ensure that your intentions are carried out if you pass away or are no longer able to make financial, guardianship and/or medical decisions for yourself.

Currently, Victorian legislation stipulates that if you are to pass away without leaving a valid Will in place you are taken to have died intestate and your assets will be distributed amongst your family members according to the laws of intestacy, as set out in the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic). This legislation provides for specific distributions to be made from your Estate.

The way these distributions are calculated will vary, depending on factors including the value of your Estate; whether you die leaving a partner; whether you leave children of that relationship; whether you leave more than one partner; and whether there are children of one or more of those relationships.

The distributions prescribed by the laws of intestacy may differ greatly from how you would wish your assets to be dealt with upon your passing. Any time your financial or familial circumstances change you must consider the influence this will have on your Estate Planning.

Executing a valid Will in line with any of these changes and keeping your family informed as to the location of your most recent Will are two of the most important things you can do to ensure your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are provided for in the event of your passing.

Please contact Emmy Langmaid with any questions regarding Wills and Estate Planning on 9804 0035.

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