Peace of Mind
Let’s talk about ”peace of mind” – an elusive concept or somewhat achievable?
As a bare definition, to me at least, it’s something you put in place today, whilst you are capable and able to do so, to ensure that a particular thing/s cannot go horribly wrong in the future– if you can mitigate a potential future ‘worst case scenario’ you may essentially have less to stress about. This may mean taking some crucial steps today, but if this can save you a headache in the future, seems like a fair trade to me.
We like to think about peace of mind daily in terms of: ensuring we have sufficient funds for our future, the children’s future, or even this week’s food shopping; or ensure our cars are serviced regularly and we will have no problems for the anticipated roadtrip next month; or perhaps it means taking out sufficient insurance for our homes, pets, or professional indemnity. To some it may mean making sure they are covered in the event of injury and time to be taken off work – who will pay the bills, the medical costs etc?
THE ‘OTHER’ PEACE OF MIND
I am of course referring to Powers of Attorney and Wills.
This is not an ‘if’ consideration, it’s a ‘when’. Death and taxes are certain, we know that. But so is the reality that not all of us will have the luxury of going to bed one night and not waking the next morning. Other factors collectively called ‘life’ come into play – you may be in an accident and sustain a brain injury – you may or may not come out of a coma, you may be diagnosed with Alzheimers, you may need to be moved into higher care because realistically, despite your family’s best intention and promises, they simply cannot or do not want to, look after your incapacitated future self.
I had a lovely old lady of 84 who came to see me. Wisely, she decided now was a good time as any to finally make a Will. Luckily for her, she was still alive to do so, and importantly, retained capacity to do so. Others who put it off are not quite so lucky, in either respect. It then came time to discuss making Powers of Attorney. Before I even started to discuss their relevance, she intercepted with “oh no, dear, I don’t need those – if I get sick, I plan to just close my eyes and die, and not be a burden on anyone!”
DON’T PUT IT OFF TILL NEXT DECADE (THAT’S NEXT YEAR!)
Don’t leave it to chance. Don’t leave your loved ones tasked with making urgent VCAT applications when emotionally, the situation will be grueling enough. Don’t make them have to plead their suitability to VCAT to be appointed to act for you because you didn’t formally appoint them when you had the chance to, and now they can’t help you without a VCAT Order. Don’t risk your estranged spouse – by default – falling into the medical decision-maker role.
Ask me and I will tell you – Wills are important. But without Powers of Attorney, how can you have that peace of mind that your financial affairs will be adequately managed by people you trust so assets remain in your Estate to pass to beneficiaries pursuant to your Will? How can you prevent an abuse of power? Why risk an independent advocate managing your affairs – someone who doesn’t know you, someone who will charge for their role?
Give us a call, let’s get together at a time that best suits you, we’ll sit down and talk it through. It’s too important to ignore. The process is quick and painless, and yes, we do offer discounts for doing more than one Estate document, to encourage you to get it all done! Think of it as a Christmas present to yourself and to your family to save them future tribulation.