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Unprecedented Pandemics: Why You Need an Estate Plan More than Ever


Unprecedented Pandemics: Why You Need an Estate Plan More than Ever

Estate planning has always been an essential step for individuals to ensure their assets are passed on to the next generation in accordance with their wishes. However, the coronavirus pandemic of the last two years has shown just how tumultuous and unpredictable life and planning for the future can be. It pays to be organised in such uncertain times.


We recommend that individuals review their estate planning when there is a substantial change to their personal or financial circumstances or assets.



Take care of your loved ones


It is now more important than ever to ensure your loved ones will be taken care of in the event of your passing. Coronavirus presents a risk of detrimental health consequences, the effects of which have been seen all over the world. Having a current Will is essential to ensure your wishes are carried out after you die, and your loved ones receive sufficient provision.


If you die without a valid Will, it is called dying ‘intestate’ and your assets will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy laws in the relevant Australian state. This is not recommended, as there is a risk that your assets and personal affairs will not be administered according to your requests.



Protection when you lose capacity


Secondly, COVID-19 is known to cause hospitalisations and severe illness. It is more important than ever that you have properly prepared power of attorney and enduring guardianship documents in place. These documents will ensure that decisions regarding your personal, financial and medical affairs are made by a trusted loved one, in the event you lose capacity. They are relatively easy documents to prepare but many people do not attend to such matters until it is too late, leaving them exposed to financial and elder abuse or in the hands of State organisations which charge exorbitant fees.



Financial uncertainty


Thirdly, the lockdowns and restrictions have had significant economic impacts on businesses and individuals, exposing them to financial hardship, unemployment and redundancy, and bankruptcy. If your financial circumstances have changed significantly during the course of the pandemic, consider updating your Will and estate plan to ensure your assets are protected and are based on your current financial circumstances and those of your immediate family.



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