Category Archives: Home Loan Legal Matters

Additional items to attend to with your solicitor while doing your mortgage paperwork

How about a Will to go with that new home of yours :-)

With Mortgage Finance in place, you’re establishing yourself as the holder of some significant assets.

Your Mortgage Finance has allowed you to buy that first home you’ve been working towards. Or maybe your Mortgage Finance has helped you trade-up, or develop an investment portfolio in the property sector.

So Mortgage Finance has got you going, but are there any other things you should consider now?

Significant assets need protection. Sometimes people think Mortgage Repayment Insurance and Fire and General Insurance are sufficient, but there are other steps as well, particularly regarding your family.

One of these steps when you take out Mortgage Finance is to make sure you have Powers of Attorney in place, so someone can look after your affairs if you aren’t able to. Powers of Attorney have featured previously on this website.

Another protection method of sorts is to consider setting up a Family Trust, that is if your Lawyer thinks this would be suitable for you.

If you are being visited by Oregon Finance then it generally means you are using Mortgage Finance to assist with your purchase.  This also means you will be making a trip to your Lawyer to sign Mortgage documentation.  Over the years we have noted that the numbers of folk who answer “Yes” to the question, Do you have a Will? number not many, (If any, cheers Scribe).

A Will is a legal document which sets out how someone wishes his or her affairs to be dealt with, in the event of death. Although Wills are particularly important for older people, they are a sensible protection for anyone with major assets, such as those that are bought with Mortgage Finance.

Your Will records the people you wish to be your Beneficiaries, i.e., who is to inherit your assets; how any liabilities are to be dealt with, and also the names of your Executors. These people will administer your affairs as set out in your Will, and often 2 or sometimes 3 Executors are appointed. They need to be responsible adults – perhaps a family member, your Lawyer or your Accountant.

A Will can be straightforward. Its possible to buy a pre-printed form at a stationery store. To be valid in Law, your signature on the Will must be witnessed by 2 adults, who must see you sign the Will, and add their own signatures to it. Your Will is invalid if this is not the case.

However, given you are going to be at your Lawyers anyway, and particularly for those who have a share of multiple assets, or have been involved in more than one personal relationship, your Will should be drawn up by your Lawyer, or a Trustee Company.  This will assist to make sure it is valid, and help to ensure that items are not overlooked.

Enduring Powers Of Attorney

One thing that we find a lot of folk don’t have when sitting down discussing mortgage finance to assist with house purchases, are Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Now, this isn’t legal advice, you have a lawyer for that, but we thought we would provide a brief overview.

An Enduring Power of Attorney, or EPA as it’s sometimes called, acts a bit like that computer back up that we all do regularly (did someone say “Yeah Right”) :-).

Basically it lets you appoint someone else to take care of your affairs, in case you aren’t able to, and is only used if and when it is necessary. And like that computer back up, they are very very handy when they are required. Maybe you’re overseas on that long- dreamed-of trip when something unexpected back home crops up. Or, not so good, you get sick or have an accident, which could mean you can’t cope with the complexities of signing or understanding documentation.

Who will make the required decisions, or sign the necessary papers for you? Please don’t rely on the widely held belief that your “next of kin” can do it. This is not the case – you need to have a properly appointed Attorney.

There are two sorts of Enduring Power of Attorney. One in respect of Property – that means everything you own, not just real estate; and one in respect of Personal Care and Welfare, which covers decisions on hospitalization and so on. So you could imagine that these appointments can get more important the older you are.

Of course, you’ll need to give some thought as to who might be the best person to appoint, (perhaps someone younger than you?) – Depending on your circumstances. It might be a family member, a friend, or your solicitor or accountant. You could appoint say, 2 people for property, who could act either separately – one or the other, or both together – so as to give you more security and peace of mind. However, you can only appoint one person to act at a time for care and welfare.

A Power of Attorney stops operating when you die – that’s when you’re Will kicks in – but we might talk about that another time!

Enduring Powers of Attorney are standard legal documents, so you’ll need to get in touch with your lawyer if you’d like to set them up. Most of you that we will be seeing will be visiting your lawyer anyway for signing of mortgage and land transfer documents so why not attend to this at the same time. Give it some thought, eh?