A Will and an Enduring Power of Attorney are important documents when planning your Estate but they have important differences and functions.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document which outlines your instructions in relation to the management and distribution of your estate. A simple Will generally contains the following instructions: –
- Who will be the executor responsible for distributing your Estate to the beneficiaries.
- The recipients (beneficiaries) who you have chosen will receive your assets.
- Your funeral arrangements which may state a preference to have a large celebration of your life or simple funeral.
- Whether you wish to be buried or cremated.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An enduring power of attorney (EPA) is used to give a person that you nominate (“the attorney”) the power to deal with all or any part of your financial, personal and health matters. The EPA may give power to the attorney to deal with only financial matters or it may give power to deal with financial, personal and health matters. With an enduring power of attorney, you specify a time that the EPA comes into effect. This includes the EPA taking effect immediately upon you losing capacity, for example, you have developed dementia or Alzheimer’s are do not have capacity to make financial decisions. You can also nominate specific dates or specific events upon which the EPA comes into effect. It is important that you discuss an EPA with your solicitor to ensure that are no conflicts of interest between the nominated attorney and their duties and interest.
The Difference Between a Will and EPOA (Enduring power of attorney)
- A Will is a legal document that outlines your instructions in relation to the management and distribution of your estate [your assets and liabilities (debts) ] after you pass. It only becomes operative or effective when you die.
- Your Will nominates 1 or more Executors whereas your Enduring Power of Attorney nominates 1 or more “Attorneys”.
- An Executor of a will is entrusted to administer the estate and ensure your instructions are followed accordingly. The Attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney makes decisions about your financial, personal and health matters while you’re still alive, but typically, after you have lost mental capacity to make these decisions for yourself.
If you do not have a Will or Enduring Power of Attorney, we can assist. Madsen Law offers fixed fees for standard Wills and Enduring Power of Attorneys and offer quick turn around times so you can have peace of mind. Give us a call today! (07) 3209 7744