Estate Planning is more than just a Will

Monday October 10th 2022

Ian Tindale, Director of Yodal

We have all heard of sad stories where monies awarded to someone who has suffered a permanent injury have been poorly handled. Example in point is the story attached, of Neil Jackson who found himself homeless even though he had been awarded a large sum of money after a car accident that left him with a brain injury.

It is a situation that we never want any of our clients or their family members to be faced with.

An Enduring Power of Attorney document (an EPA) must be prepared and signed whilst a person has capacity. When you prepare an EPA, your client gets to choose who they want to look after their affairs should they lose capacity. This peace of mind is invaluable.

In Neil‘s situation his loss of capacity came out of the blue, and without an EPA in place the court appointed the public trustee as the custodian of his wealth. Most people would find themselves in a similar situation where in the absence of a proper estate plan, they won’t have appointed an attorney to look after their affairs.

Statistically, someone under 40 is more likely to:

  • suffer a permanent injury
  • suffer a heart attack and survive or
  • get cancer and survive,

than they are to die. So, a power of attorney and adequate insurance is crucial for everyone.

Which is why early discussions with your clients explaining that estate planning isn’t just about preparing a Will is critical. It includes a range of other documents (such as a power of attorney) as well as deal with their superannuation, any trusts they control, businesses they own and the appointment of guardians for infant children. This can seem quite overwhelming for you and your clients which is why estate planning support tools, such as Yodal, can be helpful.

Yodal takes you and your clients through all components of estate planning, with easy-to-use client questionnaires, easy to fill documentation, legal sign off process and ready access to signed documents when needed. See how Yodal can help with your client Estate Planning discussions, book a demo.

Reading stories like Neil’s is a timely reminder to have an estate planning discussion with your clients early in your relationship with them.