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July 25, 2024
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Wills and Powers of Attorney in NSW

Wills and Powers of Attorney in NSW
Photo: Unsplash.com

By: JB Solicitors

In New South Wales (NSW), planning for the future is a critical step that involves understanding and implementing legal instruments such as a Will and a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document granting someone the authority to act on behalf of another person in various matters, such as financial or legal affairs. This designated person, known as the attorney or agent, can make decisions and take actions as specified in the document, including managing bank accounts, paying bills, selling property, or making medical decisions. Powers of attorney can be broad or limited in scope; these tools are essential for managing and protecting your assets and personal welfare. This article will delve into the intricacies of Will and power of attorney in NSW, ensuring that individuals are well-informed to make decisions that reflect their wishes and safeguard their interests

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document that outlines how your assets and estate will be distributed upon your death. It is a fundamental component of estate planning in NSW. Wills ensure that your assets are allocated according to your wishes rather than being distributed based on the state’s default laws.

Benefits of Creating a Will

  • Control Over Asset Distribution: A Will provides you with control over who receives your assets, including property, money, and personal belongings.
  • Protection for Beneficiaries: It allows you to appoint guardians for minor children, ensuring they are cared for by trusted individuals.
  • Minimizing Disputes: A clear and legally valid Will can reduce the potential for disputes among family members and beneficiaries.

Note that creating a Will in NSW requires adherence to specific legal criteria to ensure its validity. This includes being over 18 years old, having the Will written and signed by the Will-maker, and having it witnessed by two individuals who are not beneficiaries.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document granting another person or organization the authority to handle your affairs if you cannot do so yourself. This can include:

  • managing your finances
  • making decisions about your property or 
  • making health care decisions, depending on the type of power granted.

The decisions that can be made depend on the type of power granted to the person. Read about the types of Power of Attorney below.

Types of Power of Attorney in NSW

  • General Power of Attorney: Typically used for short-term or specific financial transactions when you can temporarily manage your affairs.
  • Enduring Power of Attorney: This tool continues to be effective even if you become mentally incapacitated, making it crucial for long-term planning.

Seeking professional legal advice is paramount when drafting a Will and power of attorney in NSW. Legal experts can ensure that these documents reflect your current wishes, comply with NSW laws, and provide the appropriate protection for your assets and personal welfare.

Lastly, life changes such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or significant changes in assets necessitate updating your will and power of attorney to reflect your current situation and wishes.

Author info:

JB Solicitors is a Sydney-based law firm with expertise in various areas of law, including family law, property law, criminal law, immigration law, commercial law and employment law.

 

Published by: Khy Talara

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