Estate planning is one of those things we love helping clients with, but something that clients often want to avoid! You can’t get out of life alive so stop avoiding it and get prepared!
A will is a powerful document – it sets out how your assets will be distributed once you pass away. So, it’s important that you give some thought to how you want your will to deal with your estate before preparing one.
There are a few important things to think about when making a will:
Your executor is the person who will be responsible for administering your estate once you pass away. So, it’s important to appoint someone you trust and who will be capable of adequately fulfilling their obligations as executor.
Who do you want to appoint as your executor? If you appoint more than one executor, will they act jointly? Do you want to appoint an alternate executor in the event your executor is unable or unwilling to act as your executor?
Do you own assets? If so, are these assets in your sole name or jointly or as tenants-in-common with someone else? Do you have any specific assets that you want to gift to a particular person?
It is important that you have a will in place to ensure that your assets can be passed to beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes on your death.
Relationship and family status
Are you married, in a defacto relationship, separated or divorced? Do you have minor children or children from different relationships?
It is important to be aware of the effect of relationships upon a will and how to adequately provide for minor children. For example, a divorce will revoke a disposition to your former spouse or the appointment of your former spouse as executor made by a will.
Guardianship of minor children
Who do you want to appoint as the guardian of your minor children? While it is ultimately up to the Family Court to make such a determination, it is often advisable to include such a wish in your will.
Do you have any specific wishes regarding your funeral and how your body is dealt with on your death?
Some people like to have their funeral wishes included in their will. However, wills are often read after the funeral so it is important to discuss your wishes with your loved ones.
Are you making adequate provision for your spouse and children? If not, it could leave your estate open to a family provision claim. We can provide you with some solutions to reduce the risk of someone challenging your estate.
It is important to obtain advice before preparing a will, particularly due to the complexities of modern families and the value of estates.
You worked hard for your wealth and spending some time discussing your wishes and planning your estate with our solicitors at Cohen Legal will help avoid family disputes and other problems relating to wealth distribution.