Even though a Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign, current statistics show that almost one in two Australians do not have a valid Will. According to the NSW Government, 55% of Australians have a valid Will. Of the remaining 45%, some have no Will at all and others have a Will that is not up to date.
A Will is a legal document and it is a statement of your wishes that are to be executed when you pass away. When you write a Will, you appoint an executor who will oversee the processes of distributing your estate in line with your wishes.
The assets you leave behind can hold both financial and sentimental value, and you may want specific items to be inherited by a certain family member or friend. Because a Will allows you to list individual people and assets, there is the opportunity for you to allocate an inheritance to children from previous relationships, as well as to friends and charities.
How can a solicitor help?
It is a good idea to involve your solicitor whenever you want to make changes to your will or draw up a new one. Your solicitor can:
- Make sure your will is valid and that it is properly drawn up, signed and witnessed
- Make sure you have expressed your wishes in the best possible way, so nothing is left to chance
- Advise you on how to provide for your spouse or de facto partner, children and other dependents. They will also let you know about your rights and obligations to former partners and others
- Advise you on tax planning, including the best way to minimise any potential capital gains tax from the gifts you are making
- Give you a thorough understanding of the role of your executor and trustee and help you choose appropriate ones
- Advise you on the best way to arrange your estate
- If you have worldwide assets, give you advice on international wills
- Advise you on assets that you control but will not form part of your estate, and
- Store your will in a safe place so that your beneficiaries always know where it is kept.
If you don’t have a current Will or would like to update your current Will (Estate Planning, Powers of Attorney etc) contact Simon Bennett or Camille Evans today where we will guide you through the process.