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Our Expertise

Wills and Powers of Attorney

Russell Kennedy’s Estate Planning team has a high-level of specialist expertise, and can work appropriately with your other advisers to provide estate planning advice and solutions tailored to your specific needs.

When should I review my will?

It is prudent to review your Will at least every 5 years, or when:

  1. you marry, divorce or separate;
  2. you wish to change any executor or trustee e.g. where an incumbent executor or trustee has become incapable or inappropriate;
  3. you wish to add or remove beneficiaries or adjust the distribution of your estate, e.g. where a beneficiary is at risk of insolvency or martial conflict and breakdown;
  4. you wish to make an alternate gift to prevent lapse upon the death of a beneficiary; and
  5. you require testamentary discretionary trusts for tax and asset planning reasons.

Do I need enduring powers of attorney? 

Enduring powers of attorney are extremely important documents. They allow you to nominate individuals to make decisions on your behalf, particularly in the event of your incapacity. There are three kinds:

1. Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial)

This authorises your nominated attorney(s) to manage your money, property and investments and make all financial and legal decisions on your behalf.

The power can be subject to any conditions and limitations that you require. For example, it may operate only when you lack capacity or are absent from the country.

2. Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment)

This appoints an agent who is authorised to make decisions about medical treatment (but not palliative care) where you cannot make those decisions for yourself due to an accident or illness. 

An agent may refuse medical treatment on your behalf, if they believe the treatment would cause unreasonable distress or is unwarranted in the circumstances.

3. Enduring Power of Guardianship

This appoints an agent who is authorised to make lifestyle and personal decisions on your behalf when you have lost capacity, such as where you live, how you access services and activities and who can visit you. The agent must take into account your personal values, beliefs, likes and dislikes.

As experts in this area Russell Kennedy regularly distributes information and hosts seminars on this topic. To subscribe to our mailing list please click on 'Join our industry mailing lists' at the bottom of this page.