IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR Solicitor
Individuals can change their mind about who they want to appoint as their attorney for a variety of reasons. For example, if their relationship with that individual changes, if that person is no longer in a position to fulfil their obligations, or if the individual dies or loses capacity. If your circumstances change, it’s imperative that you arrange to replace your appointed attorney. The appointment of an attorney may be revoked by a term in the document itself, or in writing by the principal. You, as principal, need to inform your attorney that the power has been revoked. If the power of attorney documents have been registered in the power of attorney register, then you need to have them deregistered. Your solicitor can assist you with implementing these changes.
I really want to change my Will — what do I need to do? People’s circumstances are constantly changing. People separate, form new relationships, have loved ones pass away, have children, etc., so it is often necessary to review your Will. You need to ensure your Will accurately reflects what you want to happen to your estate in the event of your death. For example, the Will made during a relationship may no longer be appropriate if you have separated, and if you don’t update it, then provisions made for your former spouse may still be followed if you die. Furthermore, if your former spouse has entered into a new relationship, it may mean that their new partner could benefit from your estate. Depending on your needs, a change to your Will may simply be addressed by a document called a codicil, which is an additional document added to your existing Will, as opposed to the preparation of a completely new Will. You should discuss this with your solicitor, who will provide advice.
I have a person appointed as my power of attorney, but I want to appoint someone else — why do I need to do this?
How can I make sure my superannuation goes to my children? It is important to be aware that Death Benefits for superannuation funds do not by law form part of your estate to be distributed according to your Will. Instead, it is generally up to the discretion of the Trustee of your superannuation fund to determine to whom the benefit is paid. Any nomination of preferred beneficiaries will not be binding upon the Trustee unless the fund permits a Binding Death Benefit Nomination. If your circumstances change — for example, if you separate from your spouse — it is essential that you revoke your Binding Death Nomination and execute a new document nominating your children as the beneficiaries.
If you have not made a Binding Death Nomination, you should consider doing so as, generally, death benefits will be paid from the fund as determined by the trustee and will likely be distributed to your spouse, children and your estate in such proportions as the Trustee determines appropriate. m
Kristen Beckhaus, Beckhaus Legal
Kristen is the Director of Beckhaus Legal with over 10 years of experience including civil and commercial litigation, criminal matters, wills and estates and leasing. Kristen is also a director for Nambour Tramway Company Ltd which is committed to the re-activation of the heritage listed tram line in Nambour and is a key element of the Nambour Activation Plan.
So it makes sense you deal with just one person for ALL your legal services Including: • • • • •
Estate Planning & Litigation Criminal Matters Business Contracts Wills & Power of Attorney Property Law & Conveyancing
Phone: 07 5441 4844
• Traffic Matters • Civil disputes, litigation and dispute resolution • Family Law • Leasing
Mobile: 0427 954 022
Suite 4, Level 1 NAB Building 38 Queen Street, Nambour Q 4560 www.bmmag.com.au
Published on Feb 27, 2017
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