Wills Trusts and Disputes.
There is nothing more traumatic than dealing with the death of a loved one. If there is no will, this will increase the distress even more. A properly prepared will ensures that your assets are allocated the way you intended. It allows the executor of your will to proceed with the distribution of your estate according to your wishes. A will significantly eliminates the chances of family, friends or business partners squabbling in the event of your death. If you do not make a will, your estate is divided up in accordance with the Succession Act which may not be what you wanted. It may even result in your estate being left in full or part to the State.
Power of Attorney.
There are two types of powers of attorney – a universal or common law power of attorney and an enduring power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document which allows another person (the attorney) to act in your place and essentially take control of your affairs. This can be for a specific purpose or it can be a general power of attorney. This power of attorney ceases if you become mentally incapacitated, marry, formally enter a civil partnership or are declared bankrupt. This type of power of attorney is commonly used to consent to someone else doing something on your behalf. It is most commonly used to give permission for property to be sold or money and assets managed on your behalf while you are overseas. You decide how long the power of attorney lasts and whether it’s for a specific purpose or a general power of attorney. While it is not necessary to consult a lawyer, it is highly recommended to get legal advice before relinquishing control over your business or personal affairs. A lawyer will assist you to draft the legal documentation and protect your best interests. Read more.
Enduring Power of Attorney.
An EPA is a legal document which contains a statement by you (the donor) giving general or specific powers to your attorney. An attorney can be a friend, spouse, family or a lawyer. The EPA only takes effect in the event that you become mentally incapacitated and as a consequence of your mental condition are unable to administer or manage your affairs. The core benefit of an EPA is that it gives you a means, to arrange your affairs in advance of, and in spite of mental incapacity. It allows you to choose a person you can trust, to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapable of making them for yourself. Read more.
Inheritance Tax arises where you (the beneficiary) receive an inheritance as a result of someone dying. The beneficiary is liable for paying tax if the inheritance is over a certain limit or threshold. These thresholds are calculated subject to the relationship between the disponer (the person providing the inheritance) and the beneficiary. This tax is known as Capital Acquisition Tax (CAT). The inheritance (benefit) is taxed if its value exceeds the threshold limits. There are also different tax-free thresholds, depending on the relationship between the disponer and the beneficiary. If you are the recipient of an inheritance from your spouse or civil partner, you are exempt from CAT. Read More.
Probate is the legal process for the fair and even distribution of a deceased person’s estate,according to their wishes. When a person dies, someone has to manage their estate, finalise their affairs, settle debts and distribute belongings, property, assets and cash to next of kin or whoever is entitled to it. There are legal obligations that must be observed before the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries. The overall process is referred to as the administration of a deceased person’s estate. In order to take out probate the Probate Office must certify that the will is valid and that all legal, financial and tax obligations have been met. The process by which the Probate Office accepts that a will is valid is called “proving”. The executor or administrator of the estate can then distribute the estate once the will has been “proved” by the Probate Office Read more.