Getting things sorted before jetting off
Farmer Freddy is about to embark on an overseas trip but first he must update some important paper work.
Now that the farm was running smoothly and the new tenants were settled into his rental property, Farmer Freddy thought it was about time he got onto planning his trip to Europe to visit his cousin.
With a stack of travel brochures in hand, Freddy called in to see Pebbles and tell her all about his travel plans.
"I fly out in three weeks" he tells Pebbles.
"That sounds great, Dad!" says Pebbles. "Just one thing though, have you updated the family trust since your old accountant has recently retired? And when did you last update your will?"
"I did go and see them about the will, but I don't remember ever signing anything," says Freddy. "They told me that my will was no good because I signed it before I remarried.
"If you die without a will, it can take a lot of time and money to sort things out," Pebbles tells him. "If you don't have a will, the law determines how your estate is divided, and what happens to the people who depend on you."
"I don't like the sound of that," says Freddy.
"It may also be a good idea to get some enduring powers of attorney drawn up, too," suggests Pebbles.
"There are two kinds," she explains. "One is for your property and the other for your personal care and welfare. If you want, you can appoint different people to look after the different kinds. But remember, they are important roles so you should appoint people you trust."
"Oh yes, I remember now," says Freddy. "And what was it that I had to do with the trust?"
"Well," says Pebbles, "since your accountant was a trustee of your trust, now he's retired he's planning on heading off travelling a lot. It will be difficult to get him to sign things as a trustee. For example, the trustees will need to sign all the documents when you sell the blocks of land you subdivided. So you need to remove him as a trustee and appoint someone else instead."
"I guess that sounds sensible," Freddy sighs. "I sure have a lot to sort before I go away, then. I was thinking I just had to plan the itinerary and pack."
"Well, you'll be able to enjoy your trip all the more, knowing that all your affairs are in order back home," Pebbles says.