A will is the most important document that ensures your family and loved ones are taken care of in your absence and that your assets are distributed in the desired manner. Your assets may have sentimental and financial value. You would want certain assets to be passed on to specific people in your family or friends circle for either the sentimental or financial value they carry. Making a will ensures that all your loved ones are listed and that you allocate inheritance to whoever you wish, including charities, children and others.
Why Do You Need to Make a Will?
A will is valid when made by a person older than 18 years of age. It can be made by any adult irrespective of the assets or financial status. When you make a will, you ensure:
- Any property including real estate, cars, insurances, furniture, bank account funds or deposits, superannuation and so on are distributed in the desired manner to the beneficiaries
- Decisions on who you want to administer your estate and make sure your wishes are carried out
- Inclusion of charities or good causes which you would like to support through your estate after death
- Stating wishes related to care of your children after death
- Stating wishes concerning your funeral, burial or cremation and spreading of ashes
If you have no relatives, your estate will go to the government unless you have a will saying otherwise.
The good news is that 60% of Australians have prepared a will. But the rest 40% have not made a will although 20% of them intend to do so!
Many are concerned with respect to the costs and legal complications involved in making a will.
Sometimes, a will can be contested or become complicated when you have had children in previous relationships and when there is a divorce. When no will is made where it is called ‘dying intestate’, the intestacy rules apply. These rules distribute assets in a way that you may not want. Also in dying intestate, if there are no close relatives other than a first cousin, the government will take over the assets.
Will disputes and contests arise from many reasons. Family provision claims, claims made by partners or children, extended families are some reasons why a will can be contested.
To avoid complications and costly court battles, it is always advisable to prepare your wills with the help of a professional lawyer.
At Pentana Stanton Lawyers, we have legal experts who are experienced in wills and wills disputes and we can guide you on these matters:
- Preparation of will
- Challenging or defending a will
- Distributing the estate
- Rights as a beneficiary under a will
- Circumstances that influence your will
We will work closely with you to give you the best guidance on:
- Distributing your estate after your death
- Achieving your desired wishes
- Ensuring financial security for your loved ones
- Minimising the risks of delays, disputes and complexities in asset distribution
- Ensuring your rights are protected under a will if you are the beneficiary