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Latest Legal Articles from Dooleys Lawyers and Solicitors. Dooley's Lawyers, Solicitors and Law Firm Blog

On the Fifth Day of Christmas my partner said to me - still no wills and oops - it's nearly January!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

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Estate Planning - Questions & Answers

Friday, July 22, 2011
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Question

Why is it important for me to have a Will?

 

 

 

Answer

 

A Will is legal document designed to ensure that your wishes are met after you die. Such wishes include the distribution of assets, the guardianship of any minor children and details as to why you may have specifically left somebody out of your Will. You arrange to have a fresh Will drafted when any of your family circumstances change, such as marriage or divorce, or the birth of any children.

 

 

Question

 

How do I amend my Will after I have signed it?

 

 

Answer

 

To amend a Will you can either instruct your Solicitor to prepare a “codicil” (document which relates to your Will ), which will be attached to your existing Will listing the changes made to the Will, or you can instruct your Solicitor to prepare a new Will. Depending on the amount of amendments required to be made to your Will, it is often best to draft a new Will to ensure clarification of your wishes.

 

 

Question

 

What is Power of Attorney?

 

 

Answer

 

A Power of Attorney is a formal appointment regarding a person’s financial affairs whereby one person (called the Principal) gives to another person (called the Attorney) the right and authority to act on their behalf. The power given can be a power granted without limitation or a specific power and can be drafted to fulfil the Principal’s objectives.

 

 

Question

 

What is an Enduring Guardian?

 

 

Answer

 

An Enduring Guardian is a document that appoints a guardian who can make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to make those decisions for yourself due to your state of mind or physical inability.  For instance, being in a coma. 

 

Question

 

What is an Advanced Health Care Directive (“Living Will”)?

 

 

Answer

 

An Advanced Health Care Directive (“Living Will”) contains information about the medical treatment you wish to receive if you are incapacitated.  A Living Will significantly reduces the burden on family and friends, particularly in relation to making decisions about the medical care of your physical and mental health.  A guardian appointed under a Living Will can make decisions on your behalf which would otherwise be made by medical specialists or the court system, often at the expense and at considerable stress to your family and friends.

   
Please feel free to make an enquiry should you have any queries in relation to your estate planning needs.

For all of our Question & Answer series, click here.