Is one of your new year resolutions to get on top of your life admin? Do you have up to date estate planning documents? Australians are generally pretty good at making sure they have adequate insurances to cover circumstances relating to health, cars and property. However according to the NSW Government a staggering 45% of Australians do not have a valid will and for many that have one, the documents are out of date and do not reflect current wishes.
A basic estate plan should have 3 essential documents including a Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship. As you can see from the diagram below, a Will covers your assets in the event of your death whereas the Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship cover your affairs in the event of your incapacity. All three documents are equally as important given they cover off on different scenarios. More information on each document is outlined below.
Previously it was common practice for individuals with assets in Australia and overseas to prepare a Will in each country where they held assets. This was to ensure the requirements for a valid Will were met in each country given differences in rules between countries.
To overcome this, Australia became a party to the International Wills Convention which came into effect in Australia on 10 March 2015.
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.
It’s in our nature to look out for our loved ones and one of the most valuable assets you will ever ‘own’ is your education.
So it’s not surprising that we receive a number of calls from people wishing to somehow pay for the future expenses of their child or grandchild’s education, in the event of their passing.
Unlike cash, cars or material ‘things’, the gift of education is one that could make a profound difference in your grandchild’s life.
“Homemade Wills are a curse” – This was the opening remark in a recent judgment of an Australian Will dispute case…
At Southern Waters Legal we agree! Unfortunately we see first hand the expensive mess left behind when people attempt a DIY Will. Homemade Wills often cause significant delays in beneficiaries receiving their inheritance, drawn out expensive litigation and family disputes.