WHEN DO YOU NEED A WILL?
A Will is a legal document that sets out who you want to receive your assets when you die. Making a Will is the only way you can ensure your assets will be distributed according to your wishes when you die. If you die without a Will your estate will be distributed according to a pre-determined formula and, if your only living relatives are more distant than cousins, your estate will pass to the government.
There is no particular age at which people need to have a Will. Anyone over the age of 18 can have a Will and often people put off writing a Will for far too long.
WHAT INFORMATION IS REQUIRED?
The following are just some of the aspects we will consider before we finalise your Will document to ensure that your Will is appropriate for your circumstances:
- The assets you currently own and how they are held to determine what type of Will is appropriate for you.
- Your family circumstances as each Will is different depending on these circumstances.
- Whether protecting certain beneficiaries’ inheritance or crafting a tax effective estate plan is of relevance to you.
- The choice of your executors.
- Whether you have young children and the consideration of appropriate guardians to be nominated for them
WHERE IS MY ORIGINAL KEPT?
Most people realise the importance of making a Will. However, a Will can only be used if it can be found when required. It is important to store your original Will in a safe place. It is a good idea to tell someone close to you where your Will is stored. Alternatively, your solicitor can store your Will.
WHEN SHOULD I UPDATE MY WILL?
You should revisit your Will at least every 5-7 years as a guideline and also consider updating it sooner if:
- your financial circumstances change
- your family circumstances change (for example, getting married or divorced renders your previous Will invalid)
- a beneficiary under your current Will dies or may become bankrupt
- an executor or trustee appointed under your current Will dies or becomes unsuitable to act due to age or ill-health
- you sell or give away assets that are specifically mentioned in your Will
- you buy or inherit significant assets
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DISCLAIMER: This guide is provided to clients and readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as a definitive or complete statement of the relevant law.
For advice about Wills contact us on 9635 7966
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