As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout the world, people can no longer avoid considering their estate plan. The spread of this virus has completely changed the world and the way in which we live here in Australia in an unprecedented way within a matter of weeks.
With a significant amount of uncertainty ahead of us, it is more important than ever that you ensure that your estate planning documents are up to date.
If you already have a Will, you should review this to ensure that it reflects your current wishes. In doing so, you should also take into account any recent changes in the value of your assets.
If you do not already have a Will, it is advisable that you put one in place to ensure that your estate is left to who you wish, rather than being distributed pursuant to the intestacy provisions of the Administration Act 1903 (WA).
The COVID-19 virus also highlights the importance that an Enduring Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Guardianship and Advance Health Directive plays in your overall estate plan, particularly if you are classified as a person at increased risk of serious illness should you contract the virus.
Unlike a Will which takes effect upon your death, these documents operate during your lifetime and allow you to appoint a trusted family member, friend or advisor to make important decisions regarding your finances, health and treatment decisions, at a time where you are unable to do so yourself.
These are incredibly challenging and unprecedented times that we are experiencing and we encourage you to take the time to ensure that your affairs are in order and to offer peace of mind knowing that if the worse were to happen, your wishes will be carried out and your loved ones looked after.
As tempting as it may be during these times to complete a DIY Will Kit online or from the local post office, these can be fraught with danger for many reasons, one of which being that they may fail to satisfy the requirements of the Wills Act 1970 (WA) for a valid Will.
This article was written by Alana Shaddick from Bowen Buchbinder Vilensky and first published on their website at www.bbvlegal.com.au
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This article does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter discussed and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and practice in this area. If you require any advice or information, please speak to a practising lawyer in your jurisdiction. No individual who is a member, partner, shareholder or consultant of, in or to any constituent part of Legally Yours Pty Ltd accepts or assumes responsibility, or has any liability, to any person in respect of this article.