Why do you need a Will?
It’s your last say on how your Estate is divided!
It can also prevents family arguments or a de-facto spouse having to prove their relationship in order to receive their entitlement. Don’t forget the stamp duty or tax consequences that may have been avoided if you had a Will.
Before making your Will you should consider these tips.
1. Who will administer your Estate? You will need to appoint an executor to legally represent your Estate. They will be responsible for collecting, and distributing your assets in accordance with your Will, and may even manage funds for minor beneficiaries until they are of age. You may wish to appoint more than 1 executor and even a “back up” or alternate executor, should your chosen executor predecease you or be unable or unwilling to accept the role. This is a very important role and should be considered carefully. Also give consideration to where your chosen executor resides. It may be quite difficult for an executor residing in Victoria to administer an Estate in Queensland for example.
2. Review your assets and how they are owned. Your Will can distribute assets that are owned personally by you, however assets that are owned jointly may pass directly to the surviving joint owner irrespective of your Will.
3. Who will receive your assets under your Will? While you may wish to leave your assets to whomever you wish, it’s important to remember that you may still have a responsibility to make adequate provision for those that are dependent upon you. This may assist in avoiding any potential family provision claims on your Estate.
4. How should your beneficiaries receive their inheritance? With the complexity of blended families, and marriage breakdowns, it’s important to consider how to best protect those you love. Give consideration to alternative methods other than the beneficiaries receiving the Estate directly upon your death. Consider life estates, Testamentary Discretionary Trusts and whether a Mutual Will may be required.
If you would like further advice please contact our office on 3999 8920