Life planning involves contemplation and consideration of what will happen to your affairs once you pass on. A Will is the legal mechanism used to give effect to your wishes in relation to your affairs and property after you die.
Who Needs a Will?
Any person aged 18 years or older who owns anything needs a Will. If you die without a Will your property will be distributed in accordance with legislation. This means that your property may not end up in the hands of the people you may have wanted it to.
Furthermore, if you die intestate (ie without a Will) it becomes more difficult and costly to administer your estate.
What is in a Will?
At the minimum, a Will should
- Appoint an executor or executors to administer your affairs once you pass on;
- Nominate a beneficiary or beneficiaries to whom property shall pass after your death;
- Specify any other specific wishes you may have.
Further provisions are often required beyond the abovementioned to tailor your Will to meet your circumstances and needs, particularly if you own a business or assets via related entities.
Tricks and Traps
It is important to get your Will right, as if you fail to do so it may cause significant problems for your intended beneficiaries down the track. Although you can draft your own Will through use of ‘Do It Yourself’ Will kits we would strongly advise against doing so.
A Will is a legal document that involves contemplation and consideration of a variety of legal aspects including:
- Execution of the Will in accordance with legal requirements;
- Consideration of the impact of Family Provision legislation;
- The laws of Trust;
- Matters that will not be governed by the Will.
If you get things wrong, your Will may be deemed invalid and of no effect thereby causing additional expense to the estate and potentially resulting in your intended beneficiaries missing out.
We would strongly suggest having your Will drafted by a qualified lawyer.
How We Can Help
We can help by:
- Drafting and preparing your Will, tailored to your individual needs and wishes;
- Identifying possible concerns or risks that should be considered;
- Evaluating and determining what options you have to give effect to your wishes;
- Explaining the meaning and effect of your Will;
- Reviewing your Will with you upon your request.
For further information please contact: