Include Pets in Your Estate Plan
Most of us consider our pets part of the family. But sometimes we don’t think about including them in plans for what happens when we die or can no longer look after ourselves.
Do you have a family member that can’t be trusted to responsibly deal with money?
Maybe they are too young or too old to maturely handle a substantial inheritance. Perhaps they have mental or psychological illnesses.
Perhaps they are addicted to illicit drugs, gambling or alcohol. Or maybe they’re just a fool with money, and are too impulsive to ever save or stick to a budget.
When you can’t make important decisions for yourself regarding accommodation, lifestyle, health or medical treatment, an Advance Care Directive is the shining beacon that guides your family and doctors in the right direction.
An Advance Care Directive (ACD) is a legally-binding document that directs how you would like to be treated if you cannot express your wishes, and is made up of three parts:
Turning 50 used to mean that it was time to begin thinking about retiring. That is not the case anymore. Now 50 is just middle-aged, with another quarter-century of busy productive life ahead.
To paraphrase Kermit the frog – “It’s not easy being wise”. I thought turning 50 would mean that things slowed down, calmed down and got easier. Instead, the pace of life seems to be quickening.
Turning 50 is a good time to start thinking about what you’ve learned so far, and reflecting on maybe becoming a “modern elder” and sharing some stories and wisdom with people who are finding their own paths a bit too challenging today.
Estate planning is not solely about preparing a Will, and with progressive illnesses you need to think about estate planning as planning for the future stages of your disease as it progresses.
The life planning portion of estate planning can be very different for a person with a progressive illness than a person without.
Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Macular Degeneration: there are dozens of illnesses that are progressive and (so far) incurable. They require special care from an estate planning perspective.
Here’s a quick roundup of some interesting news items from the world of Wills and estates.
Hoist on his own petard? Father who denied paternity is excluded from dead child’s estate
A UK Court has decided that the substantial estate of a mentally disabled child who died without a Will should be distributed to his mother and his foster family.
The court excluded the child’s biological father from inheriting a share because he had denied paternity and played no part in the child’s life.
Joint accounts with other people are a common method for ageing persons seeking help with money management, but this can cause problems.
Joint Tenancy is used often by couples as a means of owning shared assets. There are some good reasons to do this, but there are also some drawbacks.
Joint accounts are often referred to as a “poor man’s Will” because they allow an individual to give assets to another upon death without going through the probate process. Some people have the perception from hearing horror stories that probate will consume the entire estate.
Next week marks the beginning of World Alzheimer’s Month and Dementia Awareness Month. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia in Australia is expected to increase to 536,164 by 2025 and to 1,100,890 by 2056.
World Alzheimer’s Day is on 21 September. Here at Genders and Partners, we will be honouring our clients and their caregivers who are battling Alzheimer’s and Dementia by posting on social media in order to spread awareness and start conversations about how to make life easier for those battling through these devastating diseases.
After a marriage breaks down, no matter how old we are or whether we have children, it is important to consult a lawyer specialising in estate planning to make sure that we have sorted out our legal affairs for our new life once the divorce decree is final.
The very nature of a marriage (historically) is “to join two people together” and this blurs the lines between who owns what.
Most Australians aren’t planning for their own long-term care. This is creating a major problem for the next generation, who still have their own kids to look after.
This mirrors what is happening in other western economies such as UK , Canada and USA.
Rising costs and fluctuating economic and health care are the new realities, so more than ever it is important to be proactive before a long-term event happens, to help ensure that you can still take care of your own needs, especially if you are caring for someone else’s well-being.