Why do you need to make a will?
Your family, your friends and the causes dear to your heart are important. That’s why it’s crucial you prepare a legal Will. Many people feel that they don’t have enough to leave, or that their affairs are too simple to necessitate a Will. Yet the need for a Will is probably more important today than it has been before. As we live longer and have more significant relationships, dividing our estate after death becomes increasingly more complicated if a Will isn’t left.
Should you make your own will?
The laws surrounding wills and estates can be complex, meaning that a self-made Will is more likely to be contested.
A will can be invalidated if important facts about your circumstances are left out, or there is a contradiction between your Will and your actual circumstances. Here are a few reasons why you should consider getting your Will made by a lawyer:
- You risk not expressing your intentions clearly enough
- You risk not drawing-up your Will properly
- You may create a tax liability that your beneficiaries will have to pay
Can you change your Will?
You can absolutely change your Will at any time. There are certain life events that should encourage you to reassess and amend your Will to reflect your present circumstances. These life-changing events include marriage or the establishment of a new de facto relationship, if one of your beneficiaries or your executor dies and if you come into the possession of a significant number of assets or money.
However, you can’t simply take a permanent marker to your Will, crossing out old stipulations and writing up new ones. Instead, every minor change needs to be authorised with a codicil. Need to make some major changes to your Will? It’s probably best you re-write your Will completely, ensuring that there is a new up-to-date document.
Estate & Succession Planning
Estate and succession planning is not simply a matter of preparing a Will or a trust deed. Estate planning requires a careful review of all your property (assets and liabilities) and a clear understanding of your family.
Estate planning is a collaborative exercise that involves many, including your lawyer, your accountant and your financial advisor. We can help you avoid the headache of running from person to person with our expertise in estate planning.
Have you lost a loved one and are unsure as to what you need to do? Have you been appointed an executor under a will and need advice? We are here to help you at this difficult time.
Did you know administering an estate is no longer a simple task? There are a number of steps and time frames that an executor must abide by, or they could end up in a difficult situation even though they had good intentions.
We can help you and your family with many aspects of administering a loved one’s estate, including:
- Obtaining a grant of probate or letters of administration,
- Administering an estate in accordance with a will
- Administering an estate in accordance with the rules of intestacy (i.e. without a will)
- Defending a family provision claim;
- Initiating a family provision claim.