An Advance Health Directive is a document containing details of certain medical treatments that you do not wish to have. It overrides a Power of Guardianship.
A Power of Guardianship is the appointment of a person to make medical and ‘lifestyle’ decisions on your behalf. Your Guardian can only act upon your mental incapacity.
A Power of Attorney is the appointment of a person to make financial decisions on your behalf. Your Attorney can either act for you immediately, or only upon your mental incapacity. It is a common element of Estate Planning.
Unfortunately, there is no way to stop certain people challenging your Will under certain circumstances. The best way to avoid challenges is (you guessed it) getting a lawyer to draft your Will.
Almost anyone can be your Executor, provided they are of sound mind and are over the age of 18. (It is a common fallacy that your beneficiaries cannot be your Executor – often they are the best people). However, it is an important decision and one that a lawyer is best placed to advise you on. A poor choice of Executor can cause serious problems for an estate.
Probate is where the Supreme Court ‘approves’ the Will of a deceased person. Once the Executor of a Will has a ‘Grant of Probate’ they have the authority to carry out the instructions in the Will.
At P.S. Legal we try to give you a fixed-fee wherever possible. If you contact us to make an appointment we will meet with you and give you a quote at the end of the meeting that covers all work.
If you die without leaving a Will (in Western Australia) your assets are dealt with according to the Administration Act. This is an old piece of legislation that often has strange consequences. For example, if you are married your spouse does not automatically get all – or even most – of your estate.