October 17, 2016

So, you’ve finally made up your mind to write your Will

You’ve finally made up your mind to write your Will

Well, better late than never. You know that you need to protect your family, your assets and to be sure that your wishes are carried out following your death.

So now that you have decided to put your house in order, to set about making a ‘business plan’’ for what you really want done with your assets following your death, what information do you need to give to your lawyer?

You can give as much or as little information as you like. Just remember, the more information you can give to your lawyer, the more likely it is that you will end up with a more well-rounded and comprehensive Will.

Following your death, you will need someone to drive the administration of your estate. These are the roles of an Executor and Trustee – people you appoint. These people could be your spouse or partner, family members, friends and in some instances your professional advisors. These are the people you really trust because you want them to carry out your wishes.

So before you make an appointment to see your lawyer, know who you want to appoint to these important decision-making roles.

If you have young children, then you might want to appoint a guardian/s. These are the people you would want to take care of your children in the event of an untimely death. Your children are probably your greatest asset, so choose carefully.

It is also vital that you sit down with your spouse or partner and very carefully and deliberately make a list of all of your assets. There may be items which are not of great monetary value but may have significant sentimental or emotional value to you and your family.

Sort out who you want to give your assets to. Are there to be any conditions attaching to a gift to someone? Or, put more plainly, in the case of a younger person, do you want that gift to be given when that person turns 25 or 30 years old?

If you want to leave specific items to someone, then make sure that you can identify the items so that there is no uncertainty about the item. Uncertainty only leads to difficulties and expense in the administration of an estate. Take photos and be very precise in your descriptions.

If you want to leave your estate to your spouse or partner, and then to your children, whilst it might be helpful for your lawyer to know the full extent of your asset base, there might be more important issues to consider.

We know that thinking about death is not something to dwell on, but not making a Will and keeping it up to date only causes chaos and mayhem for those you leave behind. We know that you love your family and that you won’t want to burden them with concerns which you could so easily have sorted out.

If you would like to discuss more of what is involved in the Will making process, then give us a call on 4124 7100. We will do our very best to make sure that the process is not only seamless but is part of a process where you are put at ease from the moment you call or come to our office.