A Will is a document that outlines what is to happen to your assets after your death.
A Will lets you provide for your loved ones and remove the uncertainty about how your Estate is to be handled in the event of your death. Statistically, half of us don’t make a Will. People often think everything will go automatically to their partner or spouse, this is not necessarily so. A Will can lessen the emotional distress that occurs when you die by providing clear, concise and effective directions about who gets what and, if necessary, giving explanations for why things have been divided up in this manner.
Regardless of the size of your Estate - if you are over the age of 18 years you should make a Will and appoint an Executor to ensure certainty regarding what will happen to your assets after death. If you pass away without a Will, or what is known as intestate, your Estate will be distributed as determined by the Administration and Probate Act 1935 and administered by someone appointed by the Court, usually a family member.
What happens if you don’t have a Will
The law is complex and may not provide for those you would want to benefit in the way you would like.
If you do not have a spouse or partner, children, parents, grandparent, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles or next-of0kin and don’t have a Will, the whole of your Estate may go to the State Government as Bona Vacantia – "abandoned treasured".
Advantages of a Will
By having a properly prepared Will you can:
- choose your own Executor to distribute the Estate, eliminating the necessity of a more costly appointment of an Administrator – who may not be of your choosing;
- distribute your belongings and loved treasured as you wish, including personal property of sentimental value;
- provide for future management of investments or a family business;
- record wishes for certain persons to be appointed guardians for young children;
- utilise strategies to effectively manage taxation and administration expenses in the settlement of the Estate;
- provide for special wishes, such as to make charitable donations or establish bequests; and
- create testamentary trusts to protect assets for future generations.
For more information about making a Will, contact our expert Estate Planners or make an appointment today.
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