I have been meaning to make a will since I got married a year ago but haven’t gotten around to it. After looking at some of the reasons why we should all have a will, it is certainly on my to do list for the coming weeks.
If you don’t think that you need one here are some reasons which might make you change your mind.
Who gets the goods?
One of the main reasons we need to make sure we have a will is to be certain of who will get our assets and personal belongings. If you die without a will (called intestate), your estate will distributed by law, most commonly to your legal next of kin. This might be a person you do not want to get anything!
A will creates certainty for your children
If you have children it is important to nominate legal guardians if they are under 18. This will ensure that you have who you trust looking after them. You should also make arrangements for their maintenance and education to make sure they have the best support available if you are unfortunate enough to not be around.
If you had a will and then got married, your previous wills are actually cancelled out. You may have had beneficiaries previously who you wanted to benefit from something in particular so you need to update your will to make sure they are still on it.
You need to update your will after you get divorced because only certain provisions are revoked from your will following such an event.
De facto relationships
Although there have been many changes in recent times to recognising de facto relationships, without a will your partner is not guaranteed entitlement to your estate. There have been many sad stories about partners who have built a life with someone for 30 years only to not get any of the assets or treasured items when their partner dies.
A Will makes it easier
Having a will in place will assist with cost efficient administration of your estate. It also makes the process easier and quicker for your beneficiaries to receive any assets or belongings that you have nominated.
A Will eeps the peace
If you pass away without a will you have no say in how your estate will be distributed. This can in some cases cause family disagreements who are squabbling about how to proceed. You don’t want your passing to be associated with that.
You should seek advice from a solicitor on how to proceed and what aspects may be related to you. A starting point would www.moneysmart.gov.au which lists the state government bodies which are in charge of this.