This International Women’s Day take charge of your future
Public Trustee encourages women to take charge of their future and make their estate plans this International Women’s Day
This International Women's Day, the Public Trustee is calling on women to take charge of their future and make an estate plan. Estate planning is crucial for everyone, but it has a more profound effect on women. While there are many different family structures that create the need for careful estate planning, on average women outlive their male spouses by 4 years. As a result, they will have the last word on how their family's assets will be distributed. This can be particularly complicated for blended families.
Todd Kennedy, CEO of the Public Trustee, said, “Tasmanian families look very different to past generations, and women face a unique set of financial challenges.
“When it comes to estate planning, we are encouraging women to take control of their future and ensure that their wishes are documented. It is important to appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you and to protect your assets.”
The estate planning process involves setting up legal documents that provide clear instructions to manage your financial, medical and legal affairs if you become incapacitated from an accident or illness, or when you pass away.
An estate plan typically includes an Enduring Power of Attorney (to make financial decisions), an Enduring Guardianship (to make medical or personal decisions), and a Will to distribute your estate when you pass away. These are separate documents, each covering a distinct and important aspect of your care and estate.
“Having a Will and estate plan is like having a road map for providing protection and support for yourself and your loved ones if something ever happens to you. It is crucial to consider your unique family circumstances and ensure that your wishes are documented.
“If you do not have a Will and an estate plan, the Tasmanian Civil and Administration Tribunal (TASCAT) may need to appoint someone to help you make medical or financial decisions if you lose decision-making capacity due to an accident or illness. TASCAT can appoint a loved one to support you. If there is no one willing or able to assist you or where there are conflicts of interest, the Public Trustee can be appointed to support financial decision-making or the Public Guardian to support medical or personal decision-making.
“If you pass away without a Will, your deceased estate will be distributed according to the Tasmanian Intestacy Act 2010. Your loved ones may need to apply to the Supreme Court of Tasmania for a Grant of Letters of Administration to distribute the estate. This can be a difficult process to coordinate and may not necessarily reflect your wishes. It can also cause additional emotional and financial distress for your family and loved ones during an already challenging time.
“The Public Trustee can prepare both a Will and Enduring Power of Attorney documents from $140 for a single person or $210 for a couple and if you are a pensioner or seniors cardholder, we can prepare these documents for free if the Public Trustee is appointed as executor or attorney. The Public Trustee can also prepare Enduring Guardianship documents from $140 for a single person or $210 for a couple.”
It is essential to take control of your future and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of in the way that you intended.”
For more information, please visit www.publictrustee.tas.gov.au or call 1800 068 784.
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