The next of kin ensures that your property and future plans are well cared for in your absence. They can also help you to manage your assets in case of incapacitation by a terminal illness, accident or other factors affecting your wellbeing. For your next of kin to do this, he or she must have legal rights granting her the authority to make important decisions on your behalf. The following discussion sheds light on how you can give legal rights to your next of kin:
Appointing Them as Your Attorney
The first way of granting legal authority to your next of kin is by appointing them as your attorney. This happens through a document called the Lasting Power of Attorney (LAP), which gives you the exclusive power to select a person that will make decisions concerning your health, financial affairs and property. The power of attorney will give you peace of mind as your assets and other interests will always be in the hands of a person you really trust.
Two major elements make up the lasting power of attorney. These are:
• Personal Welfare LAP – the personal welfare lasting power of attorney enables you to appoint a person that will make decisions concerning your physical health and mental wellbeing. This includes decisions on matters like the type of hospitals you will visit, practitioners who will attend to you and euthanasia (assisted suicide). Note that it is not easy to grant this form of legal power unless the law deems it very necessary. This is because of the sensitive nature of such power of attorney that makes it easy for someone to manipulate your welfare for their personal gain.
• Property and Financial Affairs LAP – property and financial affairs LAP enables your next of kin to decide on how your money will be spent and the manner in which all the property will be distributed to all your beneficiaries.
Application for Estate Administration
Some legal circumstances make someone your next of kin by virtue of implication, especially in cases where you did not appoint one or failed to state so in a will. For instance, if you are married to someone, then they become your next of kin by implication. Here they will have a right to your estate or property upon your demise, but they can only acquire the legal power to make decisions by applying to the court to appoint them as your estate administrators. Once granted the certificate, they have the power to make decision concerning your property and other interests.
Talk to a family lawyer for more information.Share
20 March 2017
Hello, my name is Sandra. I live with my two children in Eastern Australia. I have recently come through a very difficult divorce. My ex-partner used to drink too much and he wasn't a very good husband or father. The final straw was when I discovered he was having an affair. I filed for divorce the same day. I knew that getting divorced would be difficult but I didn't realise just how difficult. My husband did all he could to make it hard for me and the kids. Thankfully, I found a fantastic family lawyer who helped me through the entire process. I won custody of the kids and my husband has been asked to pay child support. I decided to start this blog to help others who are going through a divorce.