Do you have a Will? The truth is more than 50 per cent of Australians don’t.
Whether you don’t like to think about your own death, you’re too busy or you don’t think you need one – the reasons behind why people don’t draft one of life’s most important documents are endless. Here are a few of the most common arguments we hear and some of the facts behind them.
1. I don’t have enough assets
If you don’t own your own home or have a swag of major assets, you may think you don’t need a Will. This is rarely the case. Here is what you need to know:
Assets range in value and sentiment. Whether it’s your phone, car, computer, clothing, pets or other personal belongings – everything you own is an asset. Having a valid Will gives you control and choice to decide what happens to these when you pass away. This is also the case with your financial assets, such as the money in your bank account.
By not having a valid Will, how your estate is divided and who receives certain possessions will be decided by the law.
If you pass away without a Will, most financial institutions will deny access to your assets. Accessing these assets can be a complex and timely process, and often, loved ones seek legal assistance.
2. My spouse is automatically entitled to everything
If you pass away without a valid Will in Queensland, your estate is subject to the laws of intestacy. This means that the law determines the order of inheritance, who gets what and the steps that need to be taken. Here are some things you need to know:
While your spouse/defacto partner may inherit everything, it depends on the situation.
Special conditions apply for children and provisions may be made for dividing amounts between them, or between multiple partners.
If you have a spouse/defecto partner and children, the value of your estate is considered, and the law determines how it is split.
Your assets may be divided among a wide range of family members.
3. I have a DIY Will
While they can seem like the easy, convenient and cost-effective option, more often
than not, DIY Wills are completed incorrectly. From forgetting to add a date to failure to get it witnessed correctly, asset confusion and misunderstanding legal terms – we have seen it all. Sadly, an invalid DIY Will can often end up costing your loved ones more than if you had used a lawyer in the first place.
4. Lawyers are too expensive
Creating a Will doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, Wills vary in complexity - depending on your situation and the level of estate planning involved. Before assuming the cost, it pays to speak to a lawyer to obtain a quote.
Remember, if you own any assets, not having a valid Will can be more costly after you pass away. Having a conversation now can save your loved ones on legal fees, emotional strain and financial stress later.
5. I created a Will 20 years ago
Updating your Will as your life changes is equally important and impacts on the decisions you make about who receives what. From getting married to having children, business ownership, property purchases, divorce and more – what you want and what you have changes as you grow older.
To reduce the chance of difficulties down the track, make sure your Will is up-to-date and reflects your current situation.
Do you need some help with your Will? Let us remove the stress from your estate planning and get in touch with our team today.