Getting Your Legal Affairs In Order
Ready to go on the grand adventure of life?
Well, we are right here with you…. but before you go, here are a few things you should consider:
- Create or update your will
A Will outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after your passing and should be prepared before any great adventure. Consult with the team at ALA Law to draft a legally valid Will that reflects your wishes.
- Designate beneficiaries:
Review and update beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, superannuation, retirement accounts, and other assets that allow beneficiary designations. Ensure that the designated beneficiaries align with your current intentions and if a binding nomination is required.
See our article about Superannuation Beneficiaries in relation to the importance of binding nominations and superannuation.
- Establish a Power of Attorney:
Consider appointing a trusted person to act as your Power of Attorney (“POA”). A POA can make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
- Set up an Enduring Guardianship:
Determine who you want to make healthcare decisions for you as your enduring guardian if you are unable to do so. At ALA Law we can put together an Enduring Guardianship so that if you lose capacity and need health decisions (such as medical treatment or where you live) made for you, it’s by the person you choose!
- Organise important documents:
Gather and organise essential legal and financial documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, property deeds, insurance policies, investment accounts, and bank statements. Store them in a secure and easily accessible location. At ALA Law we offer free storage of important legal documents to all of our clients in your own designated packets – no catches and no fees!
- Review and update beneficiaries in legal contracts:
Review the beneficiaries named in contracts such as life insurance policies, annuities, and trusts. Ensure they align with your current wishes.
- Review and update insurance coverage:
Evaluate your insurance policies, including life, health, disability, and property insurance. Ensure that coverage is sufficient and up to date based on your current needs.
We always suggest ensuring there is sufficient insurance to cover all your debts as well as leaving additional money for living and education expenses for spouses and minor children.
- Consider a trust:
Explore whether a trust may be beneficial for your situation. Trusts can provide asset protection, privacy, and control over the distribution of your assets. At ALA Law, we can provide in-depth and detailed advice regarding both discretionary family trusts as well as testamentary trusts.
We also specialise in special disability and other complex trust structures.
- Communicate your wishes:
Discuss your legal affairs with your loved ones, particularly those named as beneficiaries, executors, or assigned roles in your legal documents. Inform them of the location of important documents and provide instructions on how to access them.
At ALA Law we encourage our clients to take as many business cards as they like and distribute these to the important people in their life. With all your documents stored securely in your packet with us, if something were to happen to you, we have everything they need to make the process as stress-free as possible.