by Ray Barber
THE new year is a milestone which many people use as a reminder to update their legal planning papers. So what are the legal papers that you should consider?
Well, obviously every adult should have an up-to-date will. If your will contains your correct wishes about your known property, less can go wrong.
Your will needs, preferably, two executors of middle age who are trustworthy and competent to get your estate done. I think that there should also be a "B team" of fall-back executors.
A solicitor will advise you who should reasonably be benefited in your will, given their proximity to you in the family.
Remember, let's describe your gifts in percentages or fractions, not in items, themselves. In that way, your will can work despite the growth or depletion of your assets over the years.
Bbinding death nominations
The trust deed that governs your superannuation may allow you to nominate your beneficiaries. These nominations often lapse.
If making one, let's diarise the date of its lapse. If you make a 15 January Binding Death Nomination, then 15 January 2021 is its likely date of lapse.
Binding Death Nominations allow you to direct the proceeds of your super, regardless of the operation of wills laws. They are technical, though, and your solicitor is happy to help.
New year, new power of attorney
Enduring Powers of Attorney are just like your Mazda 6 sedan. They are commonplace; they are very useful and they are very dangerous. The danger is that, worldwide, attorneys are robbing their principals by fraudulently using EPAs.
An EPA appoints trusted people to run all aspects of your life if you lose your mental capacity. The New Year may be the time to do a fresh EPA but please don't do it yourself. That could be like crashing the car.
Are you a landlord or tenant?
If you let out or have a lease on a building, when is the date for exercising the option for renewal of term? January 2 presents the opportunity to check the option date in your diary.
New year, business plan
Are you a reader of Seniors but still engaged in business? Some seniors are still in the family business, in order to mentor the next generation of business leaders.
January can be a quiet time for the firm's leaders to write allotted parts of the company's business plan. In his book 'Maverick', Brazilian business leader Ricardo Semler tells how he drew business-planning circles in the sand whilst on honeymoon.
The quietness of holidays can be a good time for business planning. However, I wonder if Ricardo is still married.