A Will is a legal document that allows you to express your intentions regarding who is to inherit your property when you pass away. A Will can also be used to appoint a Guardian for any minor children.
When a person passes away without a Will in a place their property is given to their next of kin as determined by the Wills and Succession Act, SA 2010,cW-12.2. The legislation provides no flexibility for the estate to pass someone other than a relative.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to designate someone to look after your financial affairs in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself due to illness or injury. This is an especially important document if you have a business, investments, or real estate to manage.
Without an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, should you become unable to make decisions about your financial affairs, a court application may have to be made to appoint someone to act as a Trustee to manage your property.
A Personal Directive is a legal document that allows you to designate someone as an Agent to make personal decisions for you, including healthcare decisions, should you be unable to make decisions for yourself due to illness or injury.
Without a Personal Directive in place, should you become unable to make personal decisions for yourself, a court application may have to be made to appoint someone to act as a Guardian to manage your personal affairs.
Probate is the process where the court confirms the validity of a Will. It is not always necessary to apply for probate, however, some third parties such as banks and the Land Titles Office will require probate prior to relying on a Will.
When someone passes away without leaving a valid Will it may be necessary to apply for a Grant of Administration to deal with the estate. This grant from the court will appoint someone as the Administrator of the estate, giving them the ability to manage and appropriately distribute the deceased person's estate according to the Wills and Succession Act, SA 2010, c W-12.2.