‘Get your estate and advance care planning ducks in a row’ community events

May 20-26 is Law Week and National Palliative Care Week. The Public Trustee, Office of the Public Guardian and Palliative Care Tasmania are urging Tasmanians to take action to make your financial, health care and legal wishes known.

Public Trustee CEO, Todd Kennedy, stated that Law Week was an important opportunity to continue the conversation with the community about planning for the future. “Unfortunately, half of all Tasmanians pass away without a Will, which can have a significant impact on those left behind,” he added.

An estate plan typically includes an Enduring Power of Attorney (to make financial decisions), an Enduring Guardianship (to make health care or personal decisions), an Advanced care directive (to provide detailed care instructions to your heath care providers) 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.”

“If you do not have estate planning documents, the Tasmanian Civil and Administration Tribunal (TASCAT) may need to appoint someone to help you make health care 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.

“As part of the Law Week program, we will be hosting free seminars around the State, discussing how important it is to make a Will, estate, and advance care plan to provide clear instructions to manage your legal, health care, and financial affairs.

“If people can’t make one of the sessions they can always call us or click here to make an appointment to discuss getting their ducks in a row and how we can help them plan for their future.  Alternatively, there are information videos on our website.”

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. You can prepare your advanced care directive by downloading the form. It is best to chat with your doctor and family about your preferences.

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