The COVID-19 pandemic has left a lot of us at home catching up on things we’ve always meant to do. A lot of clients have let us know that they have estate planning on their minds; primarily their Wills and a Powers of Attorney.
Making an effort to complete these types of tasks now gives peace of mind. Leaving these vital tasks until you become sick (not just the current virus) or otherwise incapacitated, only increases stress levels for both you and your loved ones.
People are understandably worried about what could happen to them and their families if their affairs are not in order because they know that even though the symptoms can be flu-like, COVID-19 is not the flu.
- 80% of cases seem to be relatively mild.
- But 20% of cases are more serious.
- The overall mortality rate so far seems to range between 2-3% of those who contract it and it seems to rise the older we get.
- Children appear to be more resilient but can still fall ill.
- The virus is highly infectious and unlike some of the other recent viruses (SARS, for instance) it can be spread to others when a person displays no symptoms and is asymptomatic or before the onset of any symptoms.
Do your Will and Power of Attorney before you actually need them
We let clients know that there is no time like the present to get their estate planning in order.
If they get too sick, they may not be able to get legal advice in time. Likewise, they may not have the strength or capacity to understand advice provide instructions.
Your Will and Power of Attorney can be done online
We operate online.
Even though you may not be able to come to our office during COVID-19, it’s still pretty much “business as usual” during normal working hours. After hours, if there’s an emergency, we’re here for you.
We answer phone calls and emails as quickly as we can.
You can also message us on Facebook.
How to do your Will and Power of Attorney online
Clients who need a new Will and Power of Attorney or existing clients who want to update their documents can log into our website to complete their Will and Powers of Attorney instructions online,
If you have any questions during the process, we can call you and talk you through what’s needed.
What to consider when writing your Will
Whether writing a new Will or updating an existing one, you should consider the following.
- Are your executors able to serve and are they the best persons for the job?
- Have you appointed substitute executors who can take over if anything happens to the first-named executors?
- Are your beneficiaries correctly identified and named?
- If any of their beneficiaries have special needs or disabilities or suffer from substance abuse, speak with us about getting a testamentary trust created to protect these beneficiaries.
Because Wills do not cover assets held in our related entities such as companies, trusts and superannuation, we make sure you have given these your consideration and included relevant content where necessary.
For more comprehensive information about preparing your Will, visit “What is a Will?”
What to consider when writing a Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive
Whether creating a new Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive or updating existing documents, you should consider whether:
- your finances and personal needs will be covered;
- your medical needs will be looked after; and
- your wishes about your final weeks or months of life will be looked after.
You can read more about Powers of Attorney in our article “What is a Power of Attorney and do I really need one?”
Click here for more information about Advance Care Directives.
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