Although, we as humans hesitate from the thought of death, it is important to consider what happens to our loved ones, our assets and wishes after we are gone. A Will can be put in place to ensure that your desires are followed through after you pass away. Overlooking or forgetting to make a Will can cause additional stress and conflict for your loved ones, at a time of suffering.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that clearly sets out who will receive your assets and possessions once you die. Statistics from the NSW Trustee & Guardian tells us that 45% of Australians do not have a current Will in place. Without a valid Will, there is no certainty that your estate will be distributed to your nominated persons.
What can I put in my Will?
We all encounter different experiences through life and have different desires after we pass away. Therefore, everybody’s Will is different. Within your will, you can note the following:
- Who should inherit your physical and financial assets;
- Who should be the guardian of your children;
- Your funeral and burial wishes;
- Donations to charities of your choice; and
- Any other wishes.
In order for your Will to be valid, you must elect a person (or people) to be an executor of your Will. An Executor has a duty to ensure your Will is being administrated after you pass away.
What happens if I don’t have a Will?
If you die without a valid Will in place, you are said to die intestate. The legal procedure after you pass away becomes more complicated, time consuming and costly. The State Trustee has the authority to distribute your assets in accordance to Queensland legislation. This method may not be how you would want your assets to be distributed, which may cause further distress to your family and loved ones.
Should I use a “free” Will or “Post Office Will Kit”?
Using a “free” Will or purchasing a Will Kit from the Post Office may be convenient and less costly, however implications can occur. A clear example is the Queensland Supreme Court decision in the will of Ethel Florence Panigas (deceased); and In the will of John William Panigas (deceased), where it was held that the Post Office Will’s were invalid.
To ensure your wishes are properly reflected and followed through, you should stay clear from Will Kits and “free” Wills.
Who can write my Will?
To avoid costly litigation and issues with your Will it is recommended to seek legal assistance when writing up a Will. At Evolve Legal, our team will ensure that your best interests are followed, while guaranteeing that your Will is executed correctly. Don’t leave it for later, for the month of February 2020, we are offering Simple Wills for $660 (single) and $990 (couple) subject to our usual terms and conditions.
Please contact our expert estate lawyers by submitting an online enquiry or calling us on 1300 749 709.
Posted in: Will & Estates
February 05 2020