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The Will to Plan Ahead

Why make a Will?

A Will gives your executors clear instructions on how to deal with your property and arrangements for the continued care of the significant people in your life.

Making a will ensures that:-

  • Our affairs are taken care of;
  • Our loved ones are provided for;
  • Our assets are distributed how we want.

I already have a Will…

Even if you already have a Will it is important to review it regularly – preferably every 5 years.

There are a number of life events that could affect your Will. These events include:-

  • Marriage Termination;
  • Subsequent Marriage – can revoke your Will;
  • Changes in family circumstances – such as births, deaths etc.

Matters to consider when making your Will:

There are a number of issues to consider when making your Will. Some of these issues include:-

  • Validity – If your Will is not made out correctly it may not be enforceable.
  • The Appointment of Executors – Executors must be appointed to administer your Estate in accordance with your Will. Your Executors will act as your personal representative and trustee of your Estate. (We recommend the appointment of more than one executor – perhaps your spouse, relative, friends or your solicitor).
  • The appointment of a Testamentary Guardian – If you have minor children it is wise to appoint a testamentary guardian in your Will.
  • Funeral Directions – Special funeral requests or organ donation wishes can be stated in your Will.
  • Determining the components of your Estate – Your assets and liabilities should be identified so they may be taken into consideration in drafting the Will accordingly.
  • Beneficiaries – The people to be named as beneficiaries and the gifts you wish to bequeath them should also be identified. You should make proper provision for your spouse and children, including ex-nuptial children otherwise they could challenge your will.

Family and Testamentary Trusts

These are trusts which are created in your Will to come into existence after your death. The benefits of such a trust include:-

  • Flexibility for your beneficiaries;
  • Protection of assets; and
  • Taxation advantages.

What happens if I don’t make a Will?

The legal procedures are more complicated and time consuming and may cause additional expense, worry and even hardship to your family.

The law provides a formula which sets out who is entitled to the property of a deceased person who does not leave a Will. The formula may not distribute your assets in the way you would have wanted.

If you feel as though you would like to make a will or would like to change your existing will then please contact us on 1300 277 000 and one of our solicitors who specialises in this area of law will be happy to assist.

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