Stop putting off getting a Will
Ensuring you have a valid Will is an important task for everyone over 18 years of age.
A Will allows you to appoint someone to be the Executor of your estate. Your Executor will distribute your assets in accordance with your specific wishes set out in your Will.
A Will allows you to clearly state how you wish your assets to be distributed and provide contingencies for certain circumstances. For example, you can specify who assets will pass to if someone predeceases you leaving children as you may wish their gift to pass to those children or to someone else entirely.
If you do not have a Will, an Administrator will be appointed and the rules of intestacy will be applied to determine how your estate will be distributed. In most cases, the assets of the estate will pass to a surviving spouse and any children. It is important to consider the following outcomes which may occur as a result of not having a Will:
- Your assets may pass to your spouse and if they enter a new relationship, those assets may become property of their new partner.
- Your assets may be split between your spouse and your children.
- Your assets may be divided equally between your children, without any consideration of their individual circumstances and financial position.
- Any grandchildren or stepchildren will not usually receive any assets from your estate.
- You cannot name a guardian for your minor children without a Will and a Court may decide who will be appointed to care for your children.
- There is no option for minimising taxes that beneficiaries of your estate may be liable to pay without a Will.
- You do not have the choice of leaving any gift to a charity or church other than specifying your wishes to do so in a Will.
It should be noted that Do-It-Yourself Will Kits can result in complications when the time comes for your estate to be administered. Wills have strict requirements as to their contents and execution and failing to comply with those requirements can result in the Will being invalid.
It is recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced solicitor to discuss your individual assets and circumstances to prepare a Will specifically drafted to best convey your wishes in respect of your estate.
At Certus Legal Group our practitioners have been responsible for drafting over 500 wills and can assist you to prepare your will with less time and cost than you may think.