The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is gripping the Australian nation and creating a plethora of issues for businesses throughout the country. However, individuals are also worried about the ways that they can protect themselves from this crisis. From a legal standpoint, the best thing to do is make sure your estate planning documents are up to date. These include but are not limited to your Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian.
Due to current medical advice, the elderly are most at risk of significant health problems from COVID-19. It is paramount that anyone in this age group is protected for a situation that may result in them passing away or becoming incapacitated. Although, medical experts are currently of the opinion that the elderly population of New South Wales is most at risk, it does not mean that younger adults should be complacent with their estate planning. It is now the time to review your documents and make sure that the people closest to you can help you in your time of need.
Why are these documents important in a time like this?
These documents are now more important than ever. The reason for this is in relation to the uncertainty that is rocking the world as we know it today. In particular the following documents are most important:
- Will – Your will is the legal document that is used when you pass away, which helps distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. This document is enforced by a person you appoint called an executor and they are bound by the terms of the will. A will is of great importance in the event that you wish to pass specific assets to specific people. This is the paramount document to estate planning.
- Power of Attorney – This legal document allows the person you appoint as your Power of Attorney to make financial decisions for you. This document usually is used when you become incapacitated (which means that you cannot make decisions for yourself).
- Enduring Guardian – The Enduring Guardian is similar to the Power of Attorney and is used when you are incapacitated. However, your Enduring Guardian will assist in making medical decisions for you, in the event that you do not have the ability to do it for yourself.
These documents are extremely important at this current time with the current coronavirus pandemic. This is due to the fact that there currently is a higher risk of being exposed to an infectious disease.
To ensure that you are properly protected you should ensure that these documents are sorted NOW. No one knows what the future holds currently and drafting a Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian will give you peace of mind that you are legally protected in the event something happens with COVID-19 to you or your family.
At Adams & Partners Lawyers we are able to assist with the drafting of these documents. We offer tailored estate advice to our clients to maximise their chances of being legally protected from COVID-19. Due to this pandemic, we are able to offer Skype or Zoom conferences. If you are in need of some assistance, please contact our office.
Written by Cameron Spanner