BIG NEWS – Interest Rates Have Dropped!
“Ensure you, your property and most importantly, your family are protected”
The Reserve Bank of Australia has dropped Interest Rates to an all-time low! This means it’s the perfect time to look at purchasing your first property, refinancing your existing mortgage or having a close look at your property investments. So, what could that possibly have to do with Estate Law you ask?
Regardless of whether you’re thinking of purchasing, refinancing or even you already own a property, you need ensure you have all your ducks in a row. That’s right, we’re being Debbie Downers again and going to talk about if something were to happen to you and your family if you have a property (and like most of us, a mortgage). What you do now, can have certain impacts on you and your family down the track if the worst was to happen.
3 THINGS TO CONSIDER IF YOU OWN OR PURCHASE PROPERTY
There are two ways two or more people (or entities) can own property in Queensland - as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. So, what’s the difference? Basically, Joint Tenants means that if one passes away, the survivor automatically inherits the property. Don’t pass Go – Don’t collect $100. Tenants in Common means that if an owner passes away their share of the property forms part of their Estate.
If you have a Will you can leave you property to whoever you choose in circumstances where - both Joint Tenants pass away at the same time OR you own a share in a property as tenants in Common - BUT if you don’t have a Will then some complicated and arbitrary rules of intestacy will determine what happens. You can get more information about that here.
Getting legal advice before or after purchasing a property about how to hold a property (as Joint tenants and Tenants in Common) and making sure you have a Will ensures your property goes where you want it to go. It also means there will be a lot less headaches for those left behind.
Buying property is one of the biggest financial decisions a person can make but what happens if you lose the ability to make financial decisions? Who will sign documents with the bank on your behalf? Who will make sure the rates and mortgage are paid?
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) is like an insurance policy. It’s is the document that appoints someone with the authority to make financial and personal health decisions on your behalf if you become incapable. EPOA’s are not just for old or sick people - No one plans to be temporarily sick or injured but, it happens.
Without an EPOA your family must apply to QCAT to make financial decisions for you such as accessing your money to pay your mortgage. No one wants that at an already distressing time.
Whether you’re buying a home or investment property, you’ve worked hard to buy it so protect it! Everyone will tell you to get home insurance, it’s in the contract and your mortgage terms, but how will you pay your mortgage if you fell seriously ill or lost your job? Don’t stick your head in the sand! Getting advice on life insurance and income protection should now be high on your priority list.
So what’s the moral of the story…
To get the funds together to purchase a property you’ve planned for the best and it has paid off! So, make sure you plan for the worst – it’ll ensure you, your property and most importantly, your family are protected.
If you need a Will and EPOA, already have a Will and EPOA but would like them reviewed for free or simply want more information come and see us at KLP Estate Law.
Starting at $330 for a simple Will the question really is why you wouldn’t just get a Will done up now! Having a Will gives you peace of mind, gives your family peace of mind and it gives you control over what happens when you die. Death alone will cause enough stress and anxiety for your loved ones, don’t leave things in a mess for them to have to pick up the pieces of your estate as well. Give us a call today or book in online to speak with us about getting your Will done up. We have a quick turnaround in getting it all done and dusted – all signed from 3 business days from when you first see us.