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Your Legal Affairs - What to consider if circumstances change

YOUR WILL It is easy to put off one of the most important documents that you will make in your lifetime – your Will. You may already have a Will in place but when was the last time you reviewed it? Do you know where it is held? Does it still benefit the correct people in your life, or have your wishes or financial position simply changed over time? This may be the time to revisit your existing Will and think about any changes that may be required. You don't have a Will the law will determine how your estate is divided, and this could be very different to what you want to happen.

Your Will stipulates what you want to happen to your property and possessions after you’re gone. Having a Will ensures that the people and things that matter most to you are taken care of later on.


ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY

Do you need Enduring Powers of Attorney? For most people the answer will be a simple “YES”.


They are called “enduring” powers of attorney because they continue to have effect even after a person loses mental capacity. This is the very time when people need care. Enduring Powers of Attorney allows other people to make decisions on your behalf.

It is always good to have your affairs in order and to have proper arrangements for the future. Enduring Powers of Attorney give you control over who will look after you and how your affairs could be managed. It’s all about peace of mind. MANAGING YOUR AFFAIRS Are your assets (your family home, bank accounts investments etc) jointly owned and in both your names? If your spouse or partner dies (before you do), any assets that were not jointly owned by yourself and your spouse/partner – i.e. your name was not on the applicable ownership documents – will immediately form part of the deceased’s estate. Paying Bills Is your name on your utility accounts? Do you know how to pay for your utility bills? And do you have authority to speak to your utility providers?


RESIDENTIAL CARE SUBSIDY To qualify for the Residential Care Subsidy the value of your assets must be equal to or below the application threshold. If you meet the asset threshold, the Ministry of Social Development will also complete an income assessment.


When assessing your application, the Ministry is required to make calculations that are accurate and precise. We can help you to make sure that it does.


If you need advice, give us a call 03 477 8080.



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