Resources for managing financial, health and lifestyle decisions into the future
The Planning Ahead Program has been developed to help you choose someone to make financial, health and lifestyle decisions for you if you lose the capacity to make decisions yourself or pass away. When working through the program with you, Smith Legal Solutions can suggest different options to help you appoint someone to act on your behalf, once you are unable to.
The Planning Ahead Program is something you should think about sooner rather than later. It doesn’t matter how much jogging or healthy eating we do – one day our exodus will be inevitable. While no one expects to die or lose the capacity to manage their own affairs, many people feel comfort from knowing that they have planned ahead and made arrangements for a trusted relative or friend to make decisions on their behalf if something does happen.
The first step in the Planning Ahead Program is talking to significant people in your life to explain your wishes to them.
The second step in the Planning Ahead Program involves identifying suitable persons who you trust to act for you.
The third step of the Planning Ahead Program is to put into place the necessary formal arrangements, for your trusted friends and family to be able to make the decisions you would make, if you lost capacity or passed away.
You should be aware, that there are many situations now which require legal authority for someone to act on your behalf. For example, accessing your bank account to pay your bills, updating your investments, or in some circumstances, consenting to medical treatment.
Current informal arrangements will not be satisfactory if you lost capacity. In most cases, if you lose your decision making capacity without having made any arrangements, it may become necessary for an application to be made to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal or the Supreme Court to appoint someone to act on your behalf.
This Smith Legal Solutions Planning Ahead Program provides information and relevant documentation about:
- An enduring power of attorney (financial matters) which allows you to give authority to someone you nominate, to make decisions regarding financial issues on your behalf.
- An enduring power of attorney (personal/health care matters) (also known in some jurisdictions as Enduring guardianship) which allows you to give authority to someone you nominate, to make decisions regarding personal, health and lifestyle matters on your behalf.
- An advance health care directive In some jurisdictions called a living will), which allows you to provide clear guidance to your doctors about your intentions for medical treatment in the future.
- A Will – probably the most important legal document you will ever make. It allows you to choose who receives your belongings and assets after you die. A will can also be used to appoint a guardian to look after children until they can look after themselves. Apart from these obvious advantages, a will can save the expense and possible squabbles that may arise when you die without a Will.
- Planning Ahead Guidebook – a guidebook which you complete for your Executors with particulars of your personal, financial and medical details which will assist your attorney and executors and will minimise the difficulties, delays, and costs which may occur if the information must be ascertained after you lose your capacity or your death. It is recommended that you keep this information up to date.
- Guidelines for Guardians of Minor Children – Guidelines for guardians is an in-depth document you can complete to assist the guardians of your minor children when making decisions about their upbringing and welfare. The guidelines allow you to give your views on a diverse range of topics which may impact upon your child as they grow up.
The Planning Ahead Program comes with information sheets about the documents prepared and also explains how to organise these options and where to go for more information.
Don’t put off to tomorrow, what can be done today. Tomorrow may be too late.