Get on with enjoying life

Plan ahead now and get on with enjoying life

If putting plans in place for later life is something you intend to get around to some day, you are not alone. A recent study commissioned by the NSW Government[1] revealed many Australians don’t have the three critical planning ahead documents in order – 43 per cent of Australians don’t have a Will in place, 78 per cent of Australians don’t have a Power of Attorney and an alarming 91 per cent of Australians don’t have an Enduring Guardian in order. Sadly the reality is no one knows what is around the corner – so it is better to plan now while you can still make your own decisions.

Planning for later life involves spending time considering how your affairs would be managed and how you wish to be looked after if your circumstances changed and you lost the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself, or for when you die. It’s especially important to start the conversation with family and those close to you about what may be your future health, lifestyle and financial needs.

While planning ahead is a relatively simple process, further research in NSW uncovered there are many barriers which prevent people from planning ahead including the fact that death, dying and losing capacity were viewed as sensitive topics among some people who didn’t want to think about it voluntarily, or talk to family and friends about their wishes. Some respondents also compared the loss of mental capacity as being akin to death, while superstitious adults believed the mere act of planning ahead would bring on death.[2]

Planning ahead can be made simple by speaking to an independent professional, such as your local solicitor or the public trustee organisation in your state. While it is a task most of us avoid, once it is done you can get on with enjoying your life knowing that your later life needs will be taken care of and your loved ones will be given clear guidance, reassuring them they are carrying out your wishes.

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[1] Lonergan Research, Planning for Later Life Report – study conducted conducted among 1,016 Australians aged 18 years or older, September 2013.

[2] Planning for Later Life documents, Developmental Research Report, Dr Fadil Pedic and Patrick Ell, l8 March 2013.