What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document and is an opportunity for you to clearly set out instructions that are to be executed following your death.
You can include a whole variety of instructions in your Will, including:
- How your property is to be distributed including any specific gifts
- Who is to be responsible for dealing with your property after your death
- Who is to look after your children or pets following your death
- How your remains are to be dealt with
You will also appoint an executor in your Will who will carry out your instructions on your behalf.
There are very strict requirements that must be met for a Will to be valid.
Why do I need a Will?
A valid Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are clear and followed.
If you die without a valid Will then you will have died ‘intestate’ which means that your estate will be distributed in accordance with a formula provided for in the legislation.
If you die intestate you will have no control over what happens to your estate and your property, including any sentimental items, which may be distributed to someone against your wishes.
There are also added expenses when people die intestate which reduces that amount of your estate that your loved ones will receive.
Can I use a DIY Will kit?
Most people aren’t aware of the dangers that come with do-it-yourself Will kits.
The dangers of DIY Will kits include:
- That the Will may not meet the strict requirements of a Will which means that you may be held to have died intestate
- That the Will does not actually do what you intended
- That you do not minimise the risk of someone intentionally left out of the Will making a claim for a portion of your estate
It is best to ensure that you have your Will drafted correctly from the outset to avoid any issues following your death.
I already have a Will, do I need a new one?
It is important to regularly update your Will as your circumstances will likely change.
Certain life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children or grandchildren, the death of a beneficiary or the procurement or disposal of assets may all affect your Will.
What do I need to do?
Ring 8357 7611 to make an appointment with one of our friendly lawyers to discuss making a Will.