You might be tempted to overlook your estate planning just because you are single. However, while you might not face the same circumstances as the people who have families, it is still important to plan ahead. The current estate law in Australia provides for the assets of a single person to be distributed to the next of kin. This begins with the children, but if there are none, then the parents follow and then the siblings come last. If there are no heirs at law, your property will go to the state. To avoid this eventuality, you should consult an attorney about planning your estate.
Writing of a Will
This is the first step to planning the estate since the document forms the crust of the entire process. You should write in the will your desires for the distribution of your wealth once you are deceased. The will can distribute the wealth directly to the relatives, friends, and even charities. Alternatively, you can also specify that a trust be created to manage and distribute your wealth to the same people and organizations. In the will, you can name an executor to be responsible for implementing the will.
Power of Attorney
As a single person, it might be difficult to establish the person who has power of attorney should you become indisposed. For instance, in the case of a married couple, should one spouse become incapacitated medically, the other spouse has power of attorney to make important medical decisions. In that case, the process is smooth. As a single person, you can avoid the challenges that would arise from not having a clear power of attorney. You should ensure to communicate with the person you have chosen so that you are clear on all issues. This includes your position on some of the medical interventions such as resuscitation. In addition to health issues, that person can also handle your financial matters once you are gone.
Estate Planning Attorney
The process of planning is usually a legal matter. There are finances and taxes that you have to consider. Consulting a tax attorney would help you to figure out some of the issues involved. The lawyer should be an individual that has dealt with similar issues before. He or she would be best placed to offer guidance on how to write your will so that it is enforceable. The attorney would also give advice on how a trust can be set up so that it is sustainable and able to fulfill your wishes.