Do I need a will?
Many people hold off on making a will for too long. The fact is, any person over the age of 18 years can [and should] have a will. Not only does a will provide an avenue for you to dictate how you would like your hard-earned property and assets distributed, but when you do pass away, it makes the process easier for your loved ones.
Often, a significant event can prompt us to create a will. Whether it’s having a child or the death of a loved one, the truth is you don’t need to [and shouldn’t] wait for a reason to put your final wishes in writing.
Why it pays to have a will
If you pass away without a will, your wishes may not be carried out as you would have liked. Your property and assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, and your marital status and whether you have dependents will determine the outcome.
This means that someone else can decide how your estate is divided and who receives certain possessions.
A common [marital] mistake
A common misconception for married couples with children, is that your spouse will automatically receive the full estate. However, without a will this may not be the case. Under the laws of intestacy, your spouse receives a portion of the estate and all household chattels, however, the remainder is split between the children and surviving spouse.
Beware of frozen assets
If you pass away without a will, most financial institutions will deny access to your assets. Accessing these assets is a complex and timely process. Legal assistance is often sought and a Letter of Administration granted by the courts is required.
A costly process
Sometimes the cost of creating a will through a lawyer can be a deterring factor. However, it is important to understand that by not having a will, the cost for your loved ones after you pass away can be much higher. From waiting to access your assets to seeking legal assistance to navigate the laws of intestacy, an initial investment can save on costs [and stress] during what will already be an emotional time.
Do you need some help with your will? Get in touch Noel and Jeremy on (07) 4632 0480 or send an enquiry via our online form.