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What do I need to think about when preparing my Will?

There can be a lot to consider when preparing your Will and for many people it can be a daunting time. We have put together five simple questions you can ask yourself before you meet with a lawyer to prepare or update your Will.

1. What should I include in my Will?

When it comes to what to include in your Will, you need to consider the following:

  • Your assets. This includes but is not limited to property, vehicles, cash and shares.

  • Your prized possessions. This includes artwork, jewellery, photos, heirlooms and other collectables.

  • Guardianship of your children.

  • Caring for pets.

Keep in mind that your debts will need to be settled when you pass away. Make sure you consider this when listing your assets.

2. Who will receive what?

When making or updating your Will, you will need to list your beneficiaries and this includes allocating who will receive what and how much. Ensure you consider your spouse, partner and any dependents, as there may be an opportunity to make a challenge against your estate if they are not adequately provided for. Chat with your lawyer for advice specific to your situation.

3. Who will I appoint as my executor?

When you pass away, you will need an executor. They will be responsible for carrying out your instructions. When choosing someone to appoint consider:

  • Trusted friends and relatives. They must be over 18 years of age.

  • Someone who would feel comfortable taking on this role and has the time to devote to managing your estate.

  • Whether to appoint one executor or multiple people (joint executors).

4. Who will I appoint as guardian of my children and to look after any pets?

If you have young children or pets, you need to consider who will care for them if you pass away. When making this choice, some of us already have an idea about who we want to take on this role, should they be required. Others, have no idea. Wherever you stand, you must give this decision a lot of thought and weigh up all the considerations.

With guardianship of children, consider your values and what’s important to you. In addition, think about practicalities such as financial security, housing and location, and whether the person would want to take on that role.

With caring for your pets, consider practicalities such as housing and whether the person would be happy to (and is a position to) take on this role.

To assist with making these important decisions, consider chatting with your trusted friends and family members before nominating them in your Will to take on these roles.

5. What do I want to happen after I pass?

Before you sit down with a lawyer to draft or update your Will, consider how you would like to be farewelled. Use your Will to outline your expectations and wishes and address important decisions. Consider things like whether you would like to be cremated or buried, any spiritual and cultural requirements, and any other instructions you would like followed.

Do you need some legal help with your Will? Contact our experienced team today for a no-obligation chat.

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