With the loss of a loved one comes a lot of pain and sorrow, followed by a ton of legal troubles that need to be solved. Johnstone Crouse Lawyers wills and estate planning services include wills, power of attorney, power of guardianship, and testament trust. It is our job to ease the transitional period and help you cope with big changes in your life. Our lawyers in Perth are professional and compassionate, and many choose us for our sympathetic attitude that helps you go through the process.
Johnstone Crouse Lawyers' wills and estate planning services include:
A Will is a legal document that explains how you (called the 'testator or testatrix') want your assets to be distributed after you pass away, including your house, money, and personal belongings.
Having a Will that is clear, legally valid and up to date will ensure your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes.
A Will lets your loved ones know who you wanted as your beneficiaries, and this can help prevent issues regarding the distribution of your property and possessions (referred to as your 'estate'). Your beneficiaries (and your lawyer) will then know who you wanted as your executor, the person or organisation responsible for administering your estate after you pass.
It will also allow for the provision of any children under the age of 18 in your care at the time of your death.
As your personal situation changes during your lifetime, such as children, grandchildren or spouses becoming part of your life, your will needs to be updated to reflect your change wishes due to these developments. Updating your Will is essential if you wish to ensure there is no confusion when you pass away as to how you would like your estate bequeathed.
Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorises a [trusted] person of your choice (called the 'attorney') to make financial and/or property related decisions on their behalf.
To make an Enduring Power of Attorney the maker (called the 'donor') must:
- be 18 years of age or older; and
- have full legal capacity (this means that the donor must be able to understand the nature and effect of the document they are completing and the nature and extent of their estate).
An Enduring Power of Attorney cannot be made by another person on behalf of a donor whose capacity might be in doubt due to mental illness, acquired brain injury, cognitive impairment or dementia.
An Enduring Power of Attorney can be operational while the person still has capacity, but may be physically unable to attend to financial matters and/or property related matters.
The benefit of an Enduring Power of Attorney is that unlike an ordinary Power of Attorney, it will continue to operate even if the donor loses full legal capacity.
An Enduring Power of Attorney does not permit an attorney to make personal and lifestyle decisions, including decisions about treatment. The authority of the attorney is limited to decisions about the donor's financial affairs and/or property affairs.
To revoke (i.e. cancel) an Enduring Power of Attorney the donor must have full legal capacity. It is recommended that the revocation is made in writing. If the donor has lost legal capacity, an application must be made to the State Administrative Tribunal to decide if the Enduring Power of Attorney should be revoked (cancelled).
Contact Johnstone Crouse Lawyers for assistance with the prepration of an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Enduring Power of Guardianship (EPG)
An Enduring Power of Guardianship is a legal document that authorises a [trusted] person of your choice (called the 'enduring guardian') to make important personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions on your behalf should you ever become incapable of making such decisions yourself.
An enduring guardian could be authorised to make decisions about things such as where you live, the support services you have access to and the treatment you receive.
An enduring guardian can not be authorised to make property or financial decisions on your behalf.
To make an Enduring Power of Guardianship the maker (called the 'donor') must:
- be 18 years of age or older; and
- have full legal capacity (this means you must be able to make a formal agreement and understand the implications of statements contained in that agreement).
You can appoint more than one enduring guardian as joint enduring guardians, but they must act jointly which means they must reach agreement on any decisions they make on your behalf. If you plan to appoint more than one enduring guardian it is important you consider their ability to work together on your behalf.
The scope of authority given to your enduring guardian is determined by you when you make your Enduring Power of Guardianship.
You may authorise your enduring guardian to make the same range of decisions as a plenary guardian, who is appointed by the State Administrative Tribunal.
This would enable your enduring guardian to:
- decide where you live, whether permanently or temporarily;
- decide who you live with;
- decide whether or not you work and, if so, any matters related to that work;
- make treatment decisions on your behalf to any medical, surgical or dental treatment or other health care (including palliative care and life-sustaining measures such as assisted ventilation and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation);
- decide what education and training you receive;
- determine who you associate with;
- commence, defend, conduct or settle any legal proceedings on your behalf, except proceedings that relate to your property or estate;
- advocate for and make decisions about the support services you access;
- seek and receive information on your behalf.;
Alternatively, you may restrict the decision-making authority of your enduring guardian. For example, you may authorise your enduring guardian to make decisions about any treatment you receive, but not about where you live or who you associate with.
When making an Enduring Power of Guardianship you must also determine the circumstances under which your enduring and substitute enduring guardians will act. For example, you might direct that your enduring guardian act only when they are in the same State as you.
Contact Johnstone Crouse Lawyers for assistance with the prepration of an Enduring Power of Guardianship.
This information is currently being updated.