Do you need a valid will?
Having a valid Will is essential to your estate planning, without it you die intestate which is exactly what you want to try to avoid to do. What’s the importance of ‘valid’ here, sometimes you think you have a Valid Will, i.e something legally enforceable when in fact it’s not valid at all, the consequence of this is dying intestate. If this is the case, it can be extremely trying on family members knowing that what you may have actually wanted to happen to your estate isn’t going to happen because your Will wasn’t valid.
Here are the most common reasons people give for avoiding getting the will done properly
I can draft a will myself
Yes and no. If you don’t do it properly and what you actually wanted to happen doesn’t happen to your estate, your family members could be devastated. Not to mention if you make a mistake, even a minor one can cause unwanted costs after you die. Most will kits and DIY online wills make it very easy to make a mistake.
I made a will years ago so it’s fine
Yes and no. If you get married, divorced, separate, have children, lose family members etc than you should seek to see if your will is still valid.
I don’t have any assets
If this is the case it’s even more of a reason to ensure you have a Valid Will in place. You don’t want what little assets you have been chewed up in unnecessary legal costs. Even a car being sold and passed on could save your family substantial costs if done in accordance with a Valid Will. Additionally, consider superannuation funds and life insurance policies that are often attached to your superannuation as these can turn out to be worth quite a bit of money which may be passed to your estate when you pass away.
Everything goes to my wife/husband/spouse/children anyway
This is not always the case. If you die without making a valid will, you will be found to be “intestate,” meaning you’re your estate will pass through according to the intestacy laws. Depending upon your personal circumstances at the time of your passing, your estate could go to your spouse or partner, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, uncles and aunts, cousins that you’ve never even met.