What is in a will and last testament

Having a valid Will is essential to your estate planning, without it you die intestate which is exactly what you want to try and avoid. What is the importance of ‘valid’ Will? 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 as what you may have intended to happen to your estate is unlikely to occur 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

There are Will Kits and DIY online Wills available, however we do not recommend them. There is always a risk that homemade Wills are not going to be done properly and Will therefore fail to give effect to your wishes. This could have potentially devastating effects for your family and may result in your estate incurring unwanted costs after you die. Most Will Kits and DIY online Wills make it very easy to make a mistake, and these mistakes can be costly to rectify. There is great value in obtaining professional legal advice when wanting a Will prepared.

I made a will years ago so it’s fine

This is not necessarily the case. If you get married, divorced, separate, have children, lose family members or your personal or financial position changes in any way then you should seek advice as to whether your Will is still valid.

I don’t have any assets

In these circumstances it’s even more important ensure you have a valid Will in place. You don’t want what little assets you have being depleted by 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 die.

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 ‘intestate.’ This means that 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 or even cousins that you’ve never met! Having a valid Will ensures that your estate is distributed to whom you wish.

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