fjs lawyers wills

Wills

October 9, 2018

Planning ahead now can avoid significant financial and emotional hardship to your family in the future. Your estate planning is not just for when you die, but it also includes a plan for financial and health care decisions in the future, if you are unable to do so.         FAQS What is a will? A will is a legal document which: states who will receive your property when you die; appoints the person(s) you want to be your executor(s); appoints the person(s) you want to be the guardian of minor children; sets out your wishes for disposal of your body. Where should I store my Will? Your will should be stored in a safe place and you should ensure that your executor knows where to find it.  If your will cannot be found, this will cause problems and may prevent your wishes from being known.  You should never remove the staple from your original will or attach anything to it. Who can I leave my assets to? You can choose to leave your assets to whoever you like, but the law requires you to provide adequately for your spouse, defacto spouse, children, and any other relevant dependants.  If you do not do so, any eligible person may bring a claim against your estate. Can I change my will? You can change your will at any time.  You should change your will when your circumstances change – e.g. if you divorce or remarry, if one of your beneficiaries dies, if you have children or if your executor dies.  It is usually safest to make a whole new will to ensure that your will remains valid – you cannot simply cross out something and write something different. What happens if I marry or divorce? Marriage will generally invalidate any will you have previously made.  There are some exceptions your solicitor can advise you about.  If you divorce, any gifts made under your will to your former spouse are cancelled, again there are some exceptions your solicitor can advise you about. You should always make a new will if you marry, divorce, separate from your spouse or start a new defacto relationship. What if I die without a will? If you die without a will (i.e. you “die intestate”) your property and possessions will be distributed in accordance with a standard formula pursuant to the Administration and Probate Act 1919 (SA). Generally, this will result in your assets passing to your spouse and/or children. This can be a problem, however, if you have a legal spouse and a defacto spouse i.e. you are separated (but not divorced) and you have a new defacto partner. Problems may also arise in some estates where there is a spouse and children.  For example, in estates valued over $100,000 – the spouse is entitled to the first $100,000, half of the balance of the estate, and the personal belongings of the deceased.  This could result in a spouse being unable to remain in the family home, causing further hardship and emotional strain during an already harrowing time following your death. How can a solicitor […]

Read more

Enduring Power Of Attorney

October 3, 2018

ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document used to appoint another person (an “attorney”) to manage your financial affairs and make financial decisions.  You can decide if the Enduring Power of Attorney becomes effective immediately or only in the event that you suffer an incapacity in the future. You can make an Enduring Power of Attorney if you have LEGAL CAPACITY.  If there is a question about your legal (mental) capacity, you may need an opinion from your doctor. If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney and you become unable to make financial decisions at a later stage in your life, your loved ones may need to seek orders from the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT). FAQS What is a Donor? A Donor (also known as an Appointor) is the person who is ‘donating’ their power, appointing another person to act on their behalf in financial matters What is a Donee? A donee (also known as an Attorney or Appointee) is the person who is receiving the power to act on a person’s behalf.  A donee should be a person who you trust completely, as you are entrusting your finances to that person. What is Legal / Mental Capacity? Legal / mental capacity is the ability to understand the effect of legal documents, to be able to communicate and make decisions. Legal / Mental incapacity can result from accident or illness and is defined in the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993 as “the inability of a person to look after his or her own health, safety or welfare or to manage his or her own affairs”. Who should I appoint as my attorney(s)? Ask yourself these questions: Who do you trust? Does that person have the skills to manage your finances? Is that person a good money manager? Do you want to appoint more than one person? If you appoint more than one person, should they act jointly? Should I limit the power of the attorney? Ask yourself these questions: Do you want to limit the type of financial decisions? (e.g. cannot sell house) Do you want another person to monitor your attorney? (e.g. accountant or financial adviser to receive financial statements) Do you want your attorney to consult with family or friends? Do you want your assets or income managed in a certain way? Do you want to continue to give gifts or donations? When should I change or revoke my Enduring Power of Attorney? You need to change your Enduring Power of Attorney if: One of more of your attorneys die One or more of your attorneys say they are unwilling to act Your relationship changes and you no longer trust your attorney and do not want them involved You want to change the written instructions or conditions   If you change or revoke your Enduring Power of Attorney – you need to notify anyone who has a copy of that document (e.g. bank, accountant) and anyone who was appointed previously as an attorney. What is the role and responsibility of an Attorney? When the Enduring Power […]

Read more

Advance Care Directive

October 3, 2018

An Advance Care Directive is a legal form used to record your wishes and instructions for: Future health care Preferred living arrangements, residential and accommodation Life sustaining treatment Palliative Care, Comfort Care, End of life Personal decisions     You can also appoint one or more adults to make decisions for you.  These are known as “substitute decision makers”.  However, you can choose to document your wishes without appointing a substitute decision maker.   You can make an Advance Care Directive only while you have LEGAL CAPACITY, i.e. while you are “competent”.   To be “competent” you must understand: what an Advance Care Directive is; and the consequences of giving an Advance Care Directive.   If there is a question about your competence, you may need an opinion from your doctor. If you do not have an Advance Care Directive and you become unable to make decisions at a later stage in your life, your loved ones may need to seek an order from the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT). An Advance Care Directive is effective as soon as it is witnessed, BUT can only be used by a health practitioner or substitute decision maker if at the relevant time, you have “impaired decision making capacity” (i.e. you are not competent to make decisions). An Advance Care Directive provision which states a refusal of particular health care (whether express or implied) is a binding provision.  All other provisions of an Advance Care Directive are non-binding provisions. An Advance Care Directive DOES NOT cover financial matters – (you will need an “Enduring Power of Attorney” for financial matters) Order Number First Name * Last Name * Email Address * Comments / Questions *

Read more

Family Law

October 2, 2018

We understand the unique and complex issues faced throughout separation, divorce and disputes involving children and property. We are here to help.

Legal issues can be incredibly stressful, confusing and overwhelming.

We care about our clients and aim to reduce the stress associated with resolving your legal issues.

Read more

Financial

October 2, 2018

Have you reached an agreement with your former spouse about the arrangements for property settlement?

We prepare family law CONSENT ORDERS for a fixed, affordable fee – written quotation provided after your FREE no-obligation first interview (30 min) to discuss your requirements.

Read more

Children

October 2, 2018

Have you reached an agreement with your former spouse about the arrangements for the children and want to formalise it?

We prepare family law CONSENT ORDERS for a fixed, affordable fee – written quotation provided after your FREE no-obligation first interview (30 min) to discuss your requirements.

Read more

Divorce

October 2, 2018

We can assist you with applying for a Divorce.

You should seek legal advice before applying for a divorce.  There are advantages, disadvantages and time limits you first need to consider.

Read more

Wills & Estates

October 2, 2018

Planning ahead now can avoid significant financial and emotional hardship to your family in the future.
Your estate planning is not just for when you die, but it also includes a plan for financial and health care decisions in the future, if you are unable to do so.

Read more