Many Australian Muslims are surprised to learn that according to a narration by Abdullah bin Umar, Prophet Muhammad (s) stated that
“It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without having his last Will and testament written and kept ready with him.”
Every Australian Muslim should have a Will prepared that strictly adheres to both the Australian laws regarding Wills and Estates Law and the Shari’ah.
If you follow sound Estate planning principles, every person should have at least three documents. A Will, which sets out what happens to your assets after you die, a Power of Attorney which appoints a trusted person to make decisions while you are alive, but whilst you are unable to make financial decisions for yourself (eg. If you suffer from Dementia or the after effects of a stroke), and an Appointment of Enduring Guardian.
An Appointment of Enduring Guardian appoints a trusted person to make medical decisions upon your behalf when you are unable to make decisions for yourself; for example, consenting or withholding treatment.
These documents are not only for older Australians, but are equally important for younger people, especially those with families.
Unfortunately, Australia has one of the lowest rates in the developed world for getting their financial and medical affairs in order. For example, only one in two Australians have a valid Will!
If you have a family and have worked hard to establish a home and accumulate some assets, then you should take steps to organise your affairs.
Life is a forward moving experience and if you do not make your own plans, it will fall to others to organise your financial and medical affairs when you are no longer able, or around to make them. This can be a costly and traumatic experience for your loved ones to attend to.
If your affairs are not in order, is not fair to avoid the issue and to leave your relatives with the task of sorting out your financial and medical affairs. If you do not make decisions and put in place proper arrangements, you and your family will be the only ones to suffer because of your inaction.
As regards the “Do-It-Yourself Will Kits” that are available online; the Law Society of New South Wales has issued warnings about their legal validity. In fact, many kits have a disclaimer in the fine print stating that you should have the DIY Will reviewed by a professional!
If you have already prepared these documents, it is a good idea to review them regularly in case circumstances have changed. For example, if you have divorced or remarried, if your children have turned 18 or if one of your beneficiaries or executors has passed away or is in ill health.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding preparing your Will, Power of Attorney or Appointment of Enduring Guardian; contact Shelly Legal on 02 9615 9605.
With over eight years experience in Wills and Estates Law, we will happily assist you in preparing a comprehensive estate plan. .