1. Update your Will
If you’ve got a Will, well done! That puts you ahead of the 50% of New Zealanders who haven’t written theirs yet.
However, writing your Will isn’t a one-off event. You should review your Will whenever there are major changes in your life – for example, the birth of a new child, the purchase of a new home or a change of relationship.
Having an out-of-date Will could potentially be worse than not having one at all.
2. Get extra protection – EPAs
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) works to protect your wishes during your lifetime.
An EPA gives someone else the ability to act on your behalf if you cannot or do not want to.
There are two types – one to look after your personal care and wellbeing and another to look after your property.
EPAs are particularly useful as we get older and mental capacity may fade – research estimates about 1 in 33 New Zealand adults will suffer from dementia in 2050. With an EPA in place, you can ensure the right people are making the right decisions on your behalf should you be unable to.
3. Encourage your family to create an estate plan
Estate plans are definitely not just for the older generation. Younger people can have more assets than they realise – for example, they might have a good amount stored away in KiwiSaver or their employer might provide life insurance.
It is essential they have a Will to make sure this money goes to the right people should anything happen. For people with simple circumstances, www.ewills.co.nz is a great option – for $100 you can take care of your Will from your own home and it only takes 15 minutes.