Do You Have an End of Life Plan?

Do you have an end of life plan?

Death is a topic most of us feel uncomfortable talking about.

But it is something that we really need to consider – death is final but not always for those who are left behind.

There are also occasions where the period before death is not considered – is there an Enduring Power of Attorney or an Advance Health Care Directive?

What about donation of organs?

You owe it to your family – to the ones you love. They need to be left armed with the legal documents which not only allow for your passing but follow your passing.

We live in times of great mobility – travel by car is common place [including extended journeys] and travel by air is available for us all at a low cost. Accidents happen – in the blink of an eye.

If you’re injured and taken to hospital then your nearest and dearest need to have the power to make decisions for you – decisions which you might not be able to make due to injuries or your particular emergency.

An Enduring Power of Attorney in such circumstances allows for decisions to be made for you and avoids any issue relating to treatment.

If you’re unfortunate enough to have a diagnosed illness with a time line, then you need to consider the types of treatment you might want. The treatment you might want can be discussed with your family and your specific needs can be set out in an Advance Health Care Directive.

Then of course we all need to consider our mortality. Having a current Will which sets out the details of who you want to administer your estate on your passing, who are to be beneficiaries and the special wishes you might have for family and friends will prove to be invaluable for those who are left behind.

Lawyers all too often see the consequences of outdated Wills. ‘Well, Dad always intended to change his will because he wanted to make sure that………………’ is something that all too often is offered as an explanation for the failure to update a Will.

There really is no excuse – failure to keep your Will updated generally means additional legal costs but then that’s the easy part – add to that the hurt and emotional turmoil when everyone knows that Dad wanted to leave this or that to the grandchildren but the Will doesn’t make reference to his wishes.

Add to this the problem that an Executor dies before the maker of the Will. If there are items in the Will making specific gifts [such as particular house or other property] to a person but the property is no longer owned by the maker of the Will or no longer exists then you start to get an idea of the turmoil that lies ahead in the administration of the estate.

If you want to be an Organ Donor then that’s easily done – if your organs can be used by those in need, just think about the fantastic gift you’re making for someone. This is a gift that goes on giving – perhaps the best gift of all.

So, don’t be part of a tale of woe, step up to the plate and put your affairs in order because we never know when our time will come.

If you want to discuss how any of this works then give Lauren De Vere or Georgia Johnson a call at Gayler De Vere Legal on 4124 7100 or email Lauren on ldevere@gaylerlaw.com.au.

We’re happy to discuss how it all works because we know the importance of having proper plans in place for death or an accident.