The only way to ensure that your assets are managed and distributed in accordance with your wishes when you pass away is to have in place a valid will. If you die without a will, your estate will be dealt with in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, which is essentially a pre-determined distribution of your assets in accordance with legislation. A will also provides family members with a clear statement of your wishes and some bulwark against litigation in the event a family member feels entitled to more than they receive.
A properly drafted will can assist your beneficiaries in taking your assets in a tax effective manner and if necessary, protect those assets in a trust arrangement to ensure that third parties or non-lineal family members cannot access them.
While draft-your-own will kits are common in newsagents, only with a will properly drafted by a lawyer can you obtain some certainty that your wishes will be carried out.
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