“Serving Married Couples throughout Adelaide South Australia and surrounding areas since 1848”
With each marriage come new rights and new responsibilities. If you already had a Will and estate plan created when you were single, then you need to bring your estate plan up-to-date to reflect your new situation following marriage. This is because in every state and territory of Australia, marriage automatically revokes all prior Wills and codicils (with only very rare exceptions).
Unfortunately, many married couples mistakenly assume that they can automatically make personal, health care and financial decisions for one another should either spouse become legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness. But that’s only partially true.
Without proper estate planning to appoint your spouse as the incapacity decision-maker, he or she will not have full legal authority to make all of the important decisions that may need to be made for you.
- privacy and confidentiality laws will bar access to your medical records;
- the ability to consult with your attending physician;
- banking & financial laws limit control over personal finances;
- superannuation regulations do not permit spouses automatic access to information or funds.
Unless you legally appoint the decision-maker of your own selection in advance through proper estate planning, then a court or tribunal will select one for you if the need arises. While they might appoint your spouse, the process to accomplish this is time-consuming, expensive, frustrating, intimidating, and it discloses your private personal and financial information to the public record and is a real hassle for you and your spouse.
Did you know that in the absence of proper estate planning, your assets may be distributed after death based on “one-size-fits-all” state laws written for people who do not have their own estate plan? Of course, this impersonal estate plan written by state lawmakers probably will not reflect your own unique circumstances and objectives for your spouse and assets.
Fortunately, we can help you avoid disaster and replace that impersonal, state-written, one-size-fits-all estate plan with one we design together for your unique circumstances and objectives. We can help you coordinate the beneficiary nominations on your life insurance and superannuation with your estate plan to avoid unpleasant, unintended consequences.