There is no one answer about how to do your Will. It all depends on your assets, your circumstances and who your beneficiaries will be.
You need to make a will that makes your wishes clear, that avoids confusion and conflict amongst your loved ones, and that is legally valid and binding. Doing this will protect your family and friends from costly and stressful legal disputes.
Things You Need To Consider
Why do I need a Will?
A Will is a document which sets out how your assets are to be distributed after your death. If you do not have a Will, then who your property goes to is decided according to the Succession Act. This may lead to property being left to people you would rather didn’t receive it. For example, if you are unmarried and have no children, then your property would be left to your parents. It may be the case that you would rather leave property to siblings who would benefit from the gift more.
When should I make or update my Will?
Reasons to make or update your Will can include recent
-Significant change in assets
-Birth or adoption of a child
Marriage revokes your Will. Divorce revokes gifts to your former spouse (with limited exceptions). If you have separated, but not divorced, your Will may be valid and leave gifts to your Ex.
Who will be your Executors?
Your Executors have the legal and administrative task of sorting out your assets and debts after you die and making sure that your wishes as outlined in the Will are upheld.
Who will be your beneficiaries and what effect will their inheritance have on their circumstances?
You can designate anyone as a beneficiary and distribute your assets in any way you like, however if you don’t provide for your family and dependents, your will can be contested and your hard won assets used on litigation fees.
You also should consider the effects that an inheritance may have on your beneficiaries. In some cases a testamentary trust can sidestep potential taxation problems, so it’s important that you get specific advice about your situation.
How Do You Know A Will Is Valid?
To be valid, the person making the Will must be mentally competent, the Will must be correctly signed and witnessed, and show no evidence of tampering. The witnesses to the Will cannot be beneficiaries, or related to beneficiaries and must be over 18.
If there is any doubt, or potential for dispute as to your mental competence, you should get a doctor’s confirmation of your capacity to make the will and include it with your Will.
How Often Should I Review My Will?
You should certainly review your Will after any major events, such as marriage, divorce, property purchase or sale, death of a beneficiary or if your assets change significantly. We also recommend that you take a look at your Will every couple of years just to make sure that it is still the best instrument for you and for your family.
We Can Help
We know the potential pitfalls, and will ask you all the right questions to make sure that you have considered every possibility. We can advise you as to whether you would be best with a Will or a Testamentary Trust. We can design your Will in such a way to help protect your family from expensive estate litigation after your death and we can safely store your Will in our secure vault.
Contact us to discuss your particular situation and your family’s needs with an experienced Will lawyer in Mona Vale, NSW on 02 91515 7339.
Contact us to discuss your particular situation and your family’s needs with an experienced Will lawyer in Gosford, NSW on 02 4308 8892.