Managing your estate decisions
An effective estate plan should give you certainty as to how your assets will be managed if you are incapacitated and unable to look after your own affairs, and ensure your wishes are carried out as you had planned.
Appointing a Power of Attorney
Appointing a Power of Attorney gives someone else the right to make decisions about your financial and legal affairs on your behalf. The person appointing a Power of Attorney is called the ‘Principal’ and the person appointed by the principal is the ‘Attorney’.
There are two types of Powers of Attorney:
- general – someone appointed by you for a specified time and ceases if you become incapacitated
- enduring – someone appointed by you to make financial or legal decisions on your behalf if, in the future, you lose the capacity to make decisions.
When it comes to estate planning, considering an enduring Power of Attorney can be helpful as they can legally manage your financial affairs (operate your bank accounts, pay your bills, buy or sell property on your behalf).
Appointing an executor
It takes a great deal of time and effort to manage the distribution of your estate, so it’s crucial to select an appropriate executor – someone appointed by you in your will as your legal representative – who you trust to carry out your wishes.
An executor’s duties generally include:
- making funeral arrangements
- applying to the court for probate
- securing assets, such as valuables and other property
- paying any outstanding debts or taxes
- selling or transferring any property that is to be distributed, such as your home
- distributing assets in accordance with your will.
These are important responsibilities. You should nominate an executor whom you trust to administer your estate and distribute your assets according to your will.