Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Let’s be honest, DIY will kits can seem like the easy, convenient and cost-effective option. However, more often than not, wills completed in this manner are completed incorrectly and for loved ones, it can end up costing more than having used a lawyer in the first place.
So, if you decide to go down the DIY route, what do you need to know? We have put together some advice about five common mistakes.
Misunderstanding legal terms
Understanding legal jargon if you’re not fluent in *lawyer talk* can be challenging at the best of times. Throw in the emotions that surface when preparing a will and this can make things more difficult. Make sure you consider how your words might be translated.
Add a date
Unless you have only ever created on will, failing to put a date on your will can result in confusion and provide an avenue for it to be disputed.
Put in safe keeping
If your DIY will becomes lost this will likely result in delays and added costs to your loved ones when you pass away. Make sure you find a safe and secure location for your will to be stored and make sure those who need to know it exists are advised.
Failure to get it witnessed correctly
Make sure your will is witnessed properly. This includes having two independent witnesses, making sure they can be contacted if required (record these details) and ensuring that any changes to the will are witnessed. Failure to meet these conditions can result in an *informal will* and cause delays to administering your estate and added costs for your loved ones.
Make sure the assets you list in your will are assets you own and if this changes over time, update your will and have it witnessed again. Consider complex assets such as business ownership and how this breaks down, and don’t make the mistake of adding your superannuation to your will. Nominating a beneficiary of your superannuation must be completed via a binding death nomination to the superannuation trustee.
Do you need some help wrapping your head around the ins-and-outs of wills and estate planning? Get expert advice and let Jeremy and Noel remove the hassle and headache from DIY. Contact them on (07) 4632 0480 or visit the contact page on our website.