It’s now officially 25 sleeps until Christmas! …and many of you are probably looking forward to heading off on holidays!

Most people think about the usual travel essentials, like what to pack and getting vaccinations, but many forget to ensure important legal matters are taken care of.
 
Here is my checklist:
  • Ensure you have a valid, up-to-date Will. Whilst none of us want to think about it, unexpected events can occur and it is important to ensure your affairs are in order to protect your loved ones;
  • Ensure you have made a nomination with your superannuation fund. You should seek advice from your solicitor and financial planner as to which nomination is appropriate for your circumstances and as to who you should nominate as your beneficiaries;
  • Make sure you have an enduring power of attorney (EPA) – a Will only applies if you die. An EPA is crucial to cover the situation where you may still be alive, but lose capacity to make decisions for yourself.
  • If your EPA does not authorize your attorney to make decisions about your money and assets immediately (but rather, for example, only activates if you were to become incapable), you should think about whether you may need someone to transfer money, sign documents, deal with assets etc in your absence. If so, you may need to have your EPA updated or make a general power of attorney.
  • If you are a company director, be aware that your standard EPA will not authorize your attorneys to act, make decisions or sign on behalf of the company OR in your capacity as director. You may need to make a separate power of attorney for this. This can be a similar problem for a family trust.
  • Ensure that there are arrangements made to continue to make payments, whether personally or for your business. You may need to organize temporary authorisations and/or signatories with your bank to ensure employees and liabilities can continue to be paid;
  • Prepare for any due dates (e.g. under contracts). Your advisors may also be holidays around this time, so it can be wise to be extra organized and be ahead of time in preparing for deadlines.
 

Suzanne Brown is a Principal at McKays and Mackay’s only Business Law Accredited Specialist. She can be contacted on 4963 0888 or [email protected]