I want to get my affairs in order, do I really need a will?
Assurance that your wishes will be met
Most people desire that their hard earned assets pass to their loved ones with a minimum of fuss, after they pass away. Making a valid Will is the only way you can be sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Without a Will your intentions have no way of being known or enforced and state laws will determine how your estate will be divided. A Will can also provide for the guardianship of any minor children and can express your requirement as to funeral arrangements.
The administration of an estate where there is no Will can be an expensive and time consuming procedure.
Making a will is not something that should be put off for any length of time, and of course the will can be revised at any time to take account of changed circumstances. You should be aware that a new Will, as well as marriage, automatically revokes an existing Will.
Preparing a Will is not only assurance that your wishes will be met after death, but also in special circumstances whilst you are still living but mentally unable to make a decision (see Enduring Powers of Attorney, Guardianship and Advance Care Directives below)
Having a Will in conjunction with effective estate planning (which considers legal ownership, taxation and other complex issues) is the best way to ensure that your lifetime’s work is passed on the way you intended.
Effective estate planning often requires more than a simple Will. In today’s world of complex and changing laws, taxation, ownership structures and family relationships, a simple Will while a vital element, may not in itself be sufficient. You could risk of unintended consequences of your estate not transferring in accordance with your wishes and being burden with taxation, duties and other costs.
Did you know that, assets which are jointly owned, held in a trust, a superannuation fund, death benefits and life insurance policies will pass on to the beneficiaries named within those arrangements and will legally override the intended beneficiaries named in your Will, if they are different? And did you know that a simple Will may not protect your estate’s beneficiaries from creditors and even from their former partners after a relationship breakdown?
A Testamentary Trust created within your Will, is an effective way to ensure that your estate transfers in accordance with your wishes and that your beneficiaries receive all of their benefits.
Consideration to Enduring Powers of Attorney, Guardianship and Advance Care Directives are also important elements of the estate planning process, to ensure you are properly taken care of if you become incapacitated.
Failure to undertake comprehensive estate planning can result in quite unintended outcomes.
One of the most important considerations when making a Will is the appointment of Executor(s) – the person(s) who have the responsibility of seeing that your wishes are carried out. Consideration as to the appointment of an appropriate Executor of your estate needs to be determined before finalising your Will.
Free Will Electronic Storage
If your Will or estate documents are lost or misplaced and no-one can find them, they will not be effective. To give comfort that your documents will be kept in a safe place and in safe hands, we will securely store an electronic copy for you, at no cost to you and give you the original for your own records.
Some people think it may be cheaper to use a Will Kit than have a lawyer prepare their Will for them. However, it could cost your estate and your beneficiaries a lot more in money, time, stress if it is not properly prepared or challenged.
To give you piece of mind, we are happy to talk to you on a no obligation basis and to quote you a fixed fee relevant to your situation. Our fee will not change irrespective of how long it takes to answer your questions and take your instructions.
You will know upfront what the cost of your Will and any other associated documents will be and you will not be charged until the documents have been prepared to your satisfaction.