Right now, I want to scare you. I want you to be very worried! And I can hear you asking “Why?” Scaring people is not a strategy in the RCS facilitator manual. I want you to realise how precarious a position you could be in if the primary asset holder or holders of your business die without a will or are declared mentally incompetent without an enduring power of attorney.
Recently, I have spoken with a family who have lost control of their considerable assets, livelihood, and security within a couple of months. How did they lose total control? They lost control because an elderly family member was declared mentally incompetent, without an Enduring Power of Attorney. As a result, the Qld Public Trustee has stepped in and taken over control of the assets, the business and the family’s income. The Public Trustee control includes day-to-day running of the business, as well as control of the assets. Not only will the family be paying the Public Trustee for daily administration, but it could also take two to five years until long-term decisions are made about the eventual control of the assets.
How prepared are your family and your business if your primary asset holders die or are declared mentally incompetent? What can you do to make sure that your family is secure? I do not have the expertise to advise you of the legal ins and outs to ensure that your family is ok. However, I would strongly suggest that you and your family review enduring power of attorneys and wills before you really need them and get legal advice. The cost of a good solicitor could be a very wise choice, while you can still make changes and protect your family.
Another story that I have recently heard is of a family who had all their cash tied up in joint accounts. Upon the sudden death of one account holder, the joint accounts were frozen; the surviving account holder could not access immediate funds to continue the day-to-day running of the business. Again, I am not a banker, solicitor or accountant and cannot advise you what to do. However, I can strongly suggest that you check with your bank, solicitor, and accountant about what you can do to ensure that your family is protected and safe.
Both these stories have a financial and an emotional impact. I could guess that most of you mention a healthy, happy family as the first sentence of your vision. If that is true, you can achieve one step in your vision today: make sure that wills and the enduring power of attorneys are in place and are up to date with your current family and financial situation.
RCS Coach and Facilitator