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Wills and Estate Planning


Judge's Table


If you need help in making a Will, organising a Power of Attorney or administering or disputing an estate, our team is here to assist you.

We all accept that one day we will die.  If you don’t have a will when that day comes, your assets could be distributed contrary to the way you otherwise would have intended.

What is a will?  A will is a legal document which will as far as possible ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you die.

Your will can cover your assets such as your house, land, car, shares, bank accounts and other property.

If you prepare your own will you do so at the risk of causing emotional and costly battles among relatives.

This is because a number of legal requirements must be met for a will.  Failure to follow may invalidate the will.  If this occurs, the law may determine you have no will and that there is an intestacy.

Wills can and do bring about a range of emotions. 

However, Hogan Stanton Lawyers can help you ensure:

♦  that the terms of your will accurately reflect your intentions

♦  your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you die

♦  how you would like to provide for your children’s future

♦  how you choose an executor or guardian  as these roles can be very demanding and often complex

♦  that you are informed about how to avoid or minimise possible claims by family members

♦  the legal requirements are met

♦  funeral arrangements are covered

Wills vary in their complexity.  Thus the legal costs of their preparation differ.  At your first appointment, ask your solicitor about the costs involved in preparing your will.

It is also advisable to review your will regularly, particularly if your circumstances change such as upon marriage, divorce, births of children and grandchildren, deaths of beneficiaries, financial changes or home or property changes.

Everyone should have a will and everyone should also have an Enduring Power of Attorney.

Power of Attorney

It is a fact of life that at some stage you may be unable to handle our own personal affairs due to declining health, severe accident or loss of mental capacity.    If you do not wish for a government department or institutional trustee to handle your financial affairs or some other person you do not trust to handle your personal health matters then you can safeguard your affairs by making an enduring power of attorney.

There are generally two types.  A power of attorney can be a General Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney.

A General Power of Attorney is usually used for business purposes by a corporation or an individual.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal agreement which gives someone else the power to make personal/health and/or financial decisions on your behalf whilst you are still alive.  The word “Enduring” simply means that the power continues even if you lose the capacity to make the decision yourself until you die.


It is important that you give someone you trust this power.  This is because you may not always be able to make decisions as and when you need to.  Consider what would happen if you were overseas when important decisions were to be made and documents signed about the sale of your property.    What would happen if you are too ill to make your own choices as to the medical treatment you receive or where you will live? 

What happens if an injury prevents you from making decisions or being able to communicate what you decisions are?

Giving someone an enduring power of attorney means that your wishes will be carried out, even when you lose capacity to make decisions yourself.

Why take the risk of making your own enduring power of attorney? 

Certain legal requirements must be followed to ensure the validity of the Enduring Power of Attorney and Hogan Stanton Lawyers can ensure these requirements are met.

We will speak to you about:

♦  your choice of attorney and number of attorneys

♦  the extent of the powers you wish to give your attorney/s

♦  any specific requirements you wish met

♦  when you would like the power to commence

Don’t forget that your Enduring Power of Attorney does need to be reviewed from time to time as certain circumstances may automatically revoke your document such as on death, marriage or in the event of a divorce.  You may also decide that you need to change your choice of attorney or other provisions made.

When making your enduring power of attorney, speak to your solicitor about giving an Advance Health Directive.

Advanced Health Directive

This is a document which allows you to give decision about your future health care should you lose the capacity to make decisions.  It only operates during any period of loss of capacity.

It can include instructions to withdraw medical treatment designed to prolong life but does not extend to euthanasia.

Binding Death Nomination

A binding death nomination is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person or institution to receive your superannuation benefits after you pass away. At Hogan Stanton Lawyers, we help our clients draft binding death nominations that are tailored to their individual needs. Our lawyers are experienced in understanding the complexities of binding death nominations, and can advise you on the most suitable way to ensure your assets are passed on according to your wishes. With our help, you can be sure that your loved ones will receive your superannuation benefits in the way you desire, even after you are gone. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your binding death nomination.

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