A Will is a legal document that takes effect on a person’s death, and speaks to how a willmaker wishes his or her estate distributed.
Do I need a Will?
Anyone who owns any asset, or likely to own any asset, even if it was minor and negligible, should have a Will. People often forget that superannuation and life insurance proceeds are considered assets that could be distributed upon death. Also, a person may have started with very little, but may inherit substantial assets following the death of a loved one.
If you have minor children, it is important that you have a Will to specify what happens to your estate and who would have the care and responsibility over your children. Dying without a Will leaving minor children could make the administration of estate very complex and inflexible, leaving your loved ones with an onerous task of getting your affairs in order.
Can I draft my own Will?
Many people ask if they can prepare their own will. Although it is possible, we consider it is not advisable because a Will is a legal instrument and there are many technical laws that govern its validity and interpretation. Also, a person who drafts his or her own Will may lack objectivity as to what is in the best interest of their estate. Any of these issues could open up the possibility of expensive litigation once the willmaker is deceased, either due to a Will being invalid, or a Will not taking into account claims from potential beneficiaries.
We have extensive experience in advising mums and dads and business owners in the following areas of wills and estate planning:
- preparation of simple wills;
- contract to make mutual wills;
- complex wills creating testamentary trusts;
- clauses to protect beneficiaries with special needs;
- business succession arrangements;
- family trust considerations;
- enduring powers of attorney; and
- enduring powers of guardianship.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange a consultation with our lawyers.
If you are the executor or the beneficiary of an estate, we can provide advice in respect of matters arising from the administration of a deceased estate.