*Prepare a Will – $165 (incl GST, simple will)
A Will helps to ensure your assets will be distributed according to your wishes when you die. Even if you think you don’t have much, it is still important to make a Will.
Dying without a Will
If you don’t have a valid Will, the law sets out which of your family members are entitled to your assets. This may not be what you want to happen to your assets when you die. For example, the law does not include gifts to friends or charities and there is no provision made for pets.
Choosing an executor
An executor administers your estate, within the terms of the Will, after you die. You may see it as a compliment to appoint a family member or friend as your executor, but the role can be demanding. An executor needs an understanding of the law, tax rules and they may need to resolve conflict between beneficiaries. They can also be held personally liable for any mistakes that are made in the administration of the estate.
Do-it-yourself Will kits are not a good idea because anyone who is not legally qualified risks making a mistake or creating uncertainty with unclear wording. Questions about whether a Will is valid have to be decided by the Supreme Court and can result in large costs and delays.
Keep it up-to-date
If you already have a Will think about whether it is time to update it so it reflects your current circumstances. Situations where you may want to update your Will include:
- buying a house
- separation or divorce
- birth of a child
- change of beneficiary/executor.
Will Safe storage
Many people store their Will at home where it can be stolen, lost or damaged. If a Will cannot be located when required, it could cost the estate thousands of dollars. There is also a serious risk your assets will not be distributed as you would have intended because the court may decide that you didn’t have a Will.
Mathey offers a secure place to store your Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship documents and they are easy to access when needed.
Also see our Estate Planning Package page for a great rate on your document preparation.
*Source: NSW Trustee and Guardian 2018