It’s Law Week in NSW and Henty solicitor Laura Kane says it’s a good time to finally get around to sorting out your will.
“It’s not something that people want to think about, so the good thing about Law Week is that it brings the law to the front of people’s minds,” she says ahead of a string of workshops to be held across the Riverina Regional Libraries network this week.
“Making a will is important so that you can be the person who makes that decision about what you want to happen to your assets and it’s not the law in the state that you live in that makes that decision.”
Laura is based in Commins Hendriks’ Henty office and says it’s a privilege to work in her dream job in her home community.
“When I finished high school, I wanted to be a lawyer but I didn’t really want to move away,” she explains.
“Luckily, a job came up here as a receptionist at Commons Hendriks nine years ago and I studied for my law degree by distance education and I’ve been working here as a solicitor for the last three and a half years.”
This week, Laura will be involved in webinars, Q&A sessions and presentations at the Henty and Culcairn libraries, speaking about the importance of wills, power of attorney and enduring guardianship.
“When I first started working at Commins Hendriks as an 18-year-old, I never would have dreamed it was a good idea for me to have a will, but having worked here now, I see your families go through what happens when they don’t have these documents in place and I don’t want that for my family,” she says.
“With powers of attorney and guardianship, if you don’t have those documents, then your family ends up having to go through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which is a really stressful process.
“So if you can spend an hour coming in and seeing a solicitor, you can make those three documents and you can be making the decisions.”
She said getting on the front foot would reduce stress in the future.
“It’s something I tell people to invest in now because the costs are actually going to be higher administering an estate without having a will in place.”
Laura says going through the process can also prompt people to have important conversations with family.
“You can be thinking about what you want to happen to assets, but there’s also guardianship of minor children and having conversations with who you’d want to be your executors and what your wishes would be when you pass away.”
She says connecting through Law Week events at the library is a good first step.
“I think people have a perception that lawyers are not approachable, but we aim to always have everything in plain English as we want them to feel like they can come in and we’ll explain things in a way that everyone can understand.”
For more on Law Week events near you, contact your local library or head to the Riverina Regional Libraries here.