What is a Will? A Will is a written record about how you would like your possessions and property to be distributed when you die, and, who you wish to be in control of that process. It’s something we all agree is an important task for our future, but we often don’t make the time to write those plans before we die. It’s important to plan ahead when thinking about your Will, you need to decide who will be your beneficiaries, the person or people that will inherit your property and the executor (the person who does the actual giving away). A few alternative executors in case the person you chose is no longer around when you pass away is a good idea too.
It is important that everyone has a valid will when they pass away. Without a Will, your next of kin will have to apply to the Courts for a document called Letters of Administration, which then allows that person to distribute your estate in accordance with a set formula that may not be what you actually wanted.
Like many things in life, it pays to think ahead. If you put off making your Will it might be too late. While we can and do prepare Wills for people in hospital, it generally quite rushed and not ideal.
During the appointment, there are two other estate planning documents we can discuss with you. They are an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Appointment of Enduring Guardian.
There are certain legal requirements for a valid will and while attempting to prepare a “DIY” Will, many people don’t end up with a valid Will and this can result in a costly legal battle. It is also possible to have the NSW Public Trustee prepare your Will. If you are considering this option please be fully aware of the fees that the trustee will charge as your executor. However, using a Solicitor to draft your Will provides you with many more options and the cost is fixed, not charged as a percentage of your estate.
For any further advice or legal assistance on this issue, please contact us at Coutts on 1300 268 887.