Practice Areas

Wills & Estates

At Beena Rezaee Legal & Migration, we can assist you with your estate planning needs. Your estate includes everything you own including real estate, vehicles, money in any bank accounts, furniture, investments, shares, life insurance and other personal possessions. Though when we think about estate planning we often think of tangible things and how they will be dealt with when we pass, this also includes planning for how you will be cared for medically and financially in your lifetime in the event you are unable to make these decisions yourself in future.

Our team can assist you with:

  • Writing a will
  • Contesting a will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Care Directives
Wills & Estates

Making a Will

Creating a Will is an important step in planning ahead for the future. This document will take effect upon your death and identifies who you would like to manage your estate and who you wish to benefit from your assets. Creating a Will gives you an element of control over your affairs rather than leaving it to the law to decide what others may be entitled to.

A valid and well-drafted Will can make it easier for your family to manage your estate in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. Seeking advice in preparing your Will and planning your estate reduced the riskof your family fighting with one another over your property, which can prolong the winding up of your estate.

What is a valid Will and why do I need it?

There are various legal requirements to ensure your Will is valid and that your wishes can be carried out by those you have appointed. For this reason, it is advisable that you have a lawyer prepare your Will. If you pass without a valid Will, you will be considered to have passed intestate. This means the estate is divided and administered according to legislation. It may also mean there will be a greater cost in administering the estate and those who you may not have wished to have a benefit may now receive one.

When should you update your Will?

You should consider updating your Will whenever your personal circumstances change. For example, you should consider updating your Will in the event of marriage, divorce or separation, the birth of children and grandchildren, the death of a beneficiary or executor, and the purchase of real estate. When your personal circumstances change, you should consider speaking to a lawyer and have them review your current Will and provide you with advice on whether it should be updated.

If you would like to create or update your Will, please contact us.

Wills & Estates

Probate and Letters of Administration

A grant of probate from the Probate Office of the Supreme Court of South Australia is generally required to deal with the terms of a Will in South Australia. The Will is examined by the court, and, if deemed valid, the grant will be issued. A grant of probate means you are recognised by others to have authority to deal with a person’s estate so that you can pay their debts and distribute the remaining property in accordance with the terms of the Will. Probate is issued by the Court to the executors named in the Will of the person who has passed away.

Letters of Administration is a grant by the Court to a person other than a named executor or executors, such as a close relation of the person who passed. This may occur where a named executor has already passed or where the deceased person did not leave a valid Will.

Our team can assist both executors and administrators in applying for grant of probate or Letters of Administration. We can advise you on your obligations as an executor or administrator, and, if you need, take over the full administration of the estate on your behalf.

If you require any of these services, do not hesitate to inquire with our team.

Wills & Estates

Contesting a Will

There are many reasons to contest a Will. The most common reason is insufficient provision made in a Will. Certain individuals are entitled by legislation to contest a Will and there are strict timeframes as to when a claim can be made. Due to this, it is best you contact a lawyer as soon as possible otherwise you may lose the opportunity to make a claim.

Wills & Estates

Power of Attorney & Advanced Care Directives

It is advisable for adults to have an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Advanced Care Directive in place.

What is a general Power of Attorney?

A general Power of Attorney is a legally binding document in South Australia appointing a trusted person or persons to deal with or manage financial property and decisions on your behalf, for example, to buy and sell things for you or operate your bank account. You can only have a general Power of Attorney if you are 18 years of age or older and have full legal capacity at the time you make it.

In making a general Power of Attorney, you can enable the appointed person or persons to make decisions on your behalf in relation to specific matters you have authorised. You can also choose to have this in place for a certain amount of time. In entering into a general Power of Attorney, you are not losing complete control over your affairs.

A general Power of Attorney will cease in the event you become legally incapacitated, or, upon death.

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a Power of Attorney that continues to operate even after you become legally incapacitated, for example, if you become unsound of mind or unable to communicate in any way such as after a stroke. In making an Enduring Power of Attorney, you are authorising a trusted person or persons to look after your financial affairs if you become incapacitated.

You are permitted to cancel your Enduring Power of Attorney at any time, so long as you still have legal capacity.

An Enduring Power of Attorney will cease at death.

What is an Advanced Care Directive?

In an Advance Care Directive in South Australia, you can specify your preferences for issues relating to your medical care and welfare. It allows you to appoint a substitute decision-maker. It can be a real comfort to know that someone you trust will uphold your wishes and make decisions in accordance with how you want to be cared for. This may include treatment that you may want or not want, whether you want to stay at home to receive care or whether you want to be supported by artificial life support at the end of your life. There are some limitations as to what decisions a Substitute Decision-Maker can make. For example, they cannot:

  • Make a decision which would be illegal, such as requesting euthanasia
  • Refuse food and water to be given to you by mouth
  • Refuse medicine for pain or distress (for example, palliative care)
  • Make legal or financial decisions for you (unless that person has also been appointed as an Enduring Power of Attorney for your financial matters)

Just like with a Power of Attorney, you must have full legal capacity at the time of making an Advance Care Directive. This will enable the appointed decision-maker to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you late become legally incapacitated, for example, if you were to be in a coma. The Advance Care Directive will cease at your death. If you make an Advanced Care Directive, you should keep a certified copy of the completed and signed document where you can easily find it.

If anyone in your family has a history of dementia, strokes or any other illness that has the potential to render you legally incapacitated, or, if you simply want to leave instructions for your family regarding your care, we recommend considering an Advance Care Directive.

Our team can assist you through the difficult process of considering end of life decisions and create an Advance Care Directive which reflects your wishes. To book an appointment with one of our lawyers, please contact our office.

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