If we’re honest, no one really wants to think about dying. However, having a valid Will is one of the best ways to protect your family from unnecessary distress and financial burden in the event of your death.
We all know that a Will is a legal document that determines who will receive your assets when you die, but there are many issues to consider to make sure that your assets will be distributed to the people you intend and in the way that you desire.
So let’s consider the:
- A Will needs 3 things to be valid, it must be in writing, it must be signed and your signature must be witnessed by 2 other people.
- Even if you have a valid Will you will usually still require a Grant of Probate for your assets to be distributed. Probate is a grant by the court determining who can distribute your Estate and how it is distributed. If you have a Will, this process is much simplified as you have clearly stated your wishes.
- If you die without a Will, (called intestate) the legislation in each state determines how your assets will be distributed, usually to a spouse and children. However, this can be a lengthy process and can become very complicated in the case of blended families.
- The legal costs associated with administering an Estate where there is no Will are much higher than for an Estate with a Will.
- Getting married or divorced usually invalidates your Will.
- If you don’t make a Will nominating who will care for minor children, the court will make a decision for you.
- Making a well-informed Will can reduce the tax your beneficiaries will have to pay. It is very easy to create a tax liability when making a homemade will.
- You can avoid legal challenges of your Will. A well drafted Will can significantly reduce the risk of a family provision claim.
- You can change your Will as your circumstances in life change.
- Everyone is different! A solicitor can advise you on the best way to structure your Will to suit your individual circumstances.
It is important to remember that estate planning is an ongoing process and whilst a Will takes care of your Estate after you have died, you may also need to consider what may happen if for some unforeseen reason you lose capacity during your life time. In this case, appointment of a power of attorney or enduring guardian may be warranted.
To make sure you get the advice that suits you call 1300 MYLAWFIRM or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikki is a Director of Pacific Legal & Conveyancing where our vision is to provide technologically advanced, efficient, ethical legal services and conveyancing, which exceed our clients’ expectations.
Pacific Legal & Conveyancing