Village Voice: July 2020


If the pandemic was not enough to keep you indoors, there have been a few days in June  that have just been plain cold and miserable but the good news is that the winter equinox has passed by and the days will start to get a bit longer. That is the good news. However there will be plenty of winter days left to keep you indoors, which creates an ideal opportunity to review a number of really important documents that we should all have in place to ensure we are prepared for the future.     

Is your will up to date?  Everyone over 18 should have a valid will nominating an Executor who will be capable to undertake the tasks required of them should it be required. It is important that as we get older, we ensure that the will still reflects our wishes and that your nominated executor is still alive and in good health and that all beneficiaries in your will are current. From time to time we are provided with a will that nominates an executor who is no longer alive or that certain nominated beneficiaries or family structures have changed that may create difficulties for probate of the distribution of your estate. Such cases create angst between all of the parties.

Power of Attorney
An enduring power of attorney (EPOA) is a legal document that enables you appoint someone to make decisions about personal or financial matters if and when you are unable to make these decisions yourself. You can nominate when the EPOA commences, including a provision that a Doctor must assess that you no longer capable to make decisions before the EPOA takes effect.

If you do not appoint a Power of attorney and you have lost the capacity to make that decision, your affairs will be referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) who can appoint a person to make such decisions on your behalf or appoint the Public Advocate or a trustee company to undertake this task. We think that you should appoint a person who can be relied upon to administer your wishes.

Advanced Care Planning
The advanced care plan (ACP)has been promoted many times at resident meetings and is now one of the most important documents in considering your future. This document is about what medical treatment you want to receive if you have a major health issue. It used to be the case that you could simply say that you would not want to prolong life if there was no quality of life. The courts determined that such a statement is too vague to provide guidance to doctors and care givers and the ACP was developed as a very specific document to indicate what type of care you want under a variety of circumstances. This is lengthy and confronting document but is certainly in your interests. Frankston Hospital have staff who can come to your unit and assist you in the process (at no cost).

Important Assets and passwords
One thing I have learnt over the years, it is really important that you document and share your information on the bank accounts, investments and similar documents with your family and your executor. Equally, if you have a small safe, or passwords for certain documents, if no-one knows the codes or passwords, it certainly creates difficulties trying to access your computer. I know first-hand from the experience with mum who had a small safe. No-one had the key or code, so it was taken to a locksmith who had to cut it open (cost over $100) only to find nothing useful in it.      

There is a lot of helpful information available on the internet on the following sites:as :

Take care, stay safe, stay informed and stay in control of your future