WILLS, POWERS OF ATTORNEY, GUARDIANSHIP AND PROBATE
Preparing a Will is the best way to ensure that our loved ones are properly provided for when we die. In the event that you pass away without a Will your estate will be divided according to the laws of intestacy and this may not reflect your true intentions. This situation also places an additional emotional burden on those you most care about.
It is important to keep in mind that every whenever your circumstances change you should update your Will to reflect those circumstances. There are many reasons to alter a Will. They include, but are not limited to, disposal of assets mentioned in the Will, the death of a beneficiary or executor, or getting married. What we wish to avoid is conflict arising from circumstances in which you have either not left a Will, or perhaps omitted a family member. Objective and practical legal advice from a lawyer will assist in mitigating such circumstances.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY AND GUARDIANSHIPS
A Power of Attorney is also an important consideration. In the event that we become incapable of our own care it is important to have planned for those people we most trust to have the power to make decisions for our best interests. For example, they may need to sign documents or make decisions about medical care or assets. There are various types of authority that reflect different circumstances, such as Powers of Attorney, and Enduring Guardianships.
PROBATE AND LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
With the death of a person, the executor needs to take a number of steps in order to be able to gain access to bank accounts and superannuation funds, transfer real estate and other assets, and to attend to the liabilities of the estate. It is usually necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate to enable the executor to do this. A Grant of Probate is the legal authority that endorses the validity of the Will and allows the executor to administer the estate and distribute assets according to the terms of the Will. In circumstances where a person dies without a Will the law determines how the estate will be distributed. In this event, application must be made for Letters of Administration which allow a person (the Administrator) to settle the estate.
The service offered by A R Walmsley & Co in this area of the law is personal, professional and costs affective. Our aim is to assist our clients in settling their loved ones' estates efficiently. Where disputes occur, our aim is to resolve them via mediation and without formal legal proceedings. This, we believe, mitigates stress on the family as well as keeping costs to a minimum.