The kids have left home, you’re home loan free; you may have retired or have long service leave to burn and you’re ready to get out exploring.  Whether it be caravanning around this wonderful country of ours, cruising the world’s waterways or any number of other travel adventures you’re getting out there.

Simply from a practical point of view, you may need someone at home to be able to sign things or carry out tasks on your behalf that you would usually be legally required to do yourself.  In addition, incapacity or the inability to manage your affairs is something that could occur at any time of life through illness or accident. It is at that time that you may need someone who is empowered to do everything you can legally do for yourself such as sign documents on your behalf, manage your bank account and pay your bills, or make decisions about the management of your affairs. The time to plan for this is while you have legal capacity.  See Why do I need a Power of Attorney.

It is also at this stage of life that family relationships may have changed, with spouses or children and you may now have grandchildren.  If you have previously made a will or power of attorney, now is an appropriate time to review these documents.  It is important to note that divorce and marriage void a Will, meaning that it becomes of no legal effect. Therefore if you have divorced or married since making your last will, then you need to consider making another.

If you die without a valid Will, there are laws that come into play (laws of intestacy) that dictate who receives your estate. Having even a simple will streamlines the process for dealing with your estate and keeps the cost of administration down.  By making a will you have certainty around who will receive your estate.  See Why do I need a Will.