Of course, most of us hope to live forever. We often choose not to think about “the inevitable”. When it comes to making their Will, it can be a situation of “I will get to that another day” – just like a dental checkup. While you are thinking of it, also consider the necessity to have a Power of Attorney (see post).
How many times have you seen movies where the family turns up for the reading of the will, only to be surprised over its contents, resulting in all sorts of bad behavior and resentment. I know … it would never happen to you. What if you had no Will at all?
You cannot assume that your wife and children will automatically be given the opportunity to execute your wishes upon your passing. You need to have something in writing to spell out exactly what you want. If you die without a will, the law can decide who will receive your assets, which may be contrary to what you desire.
Your will is best defined as: a legal document with specific instructions for who you want to inherit your estate, care for your children and be the Executor and Trustee of your estate when you pass away.
The Will may specify such things as-
- Who will be in charge of ensuring that the Will is completed as per your instructions (Executor)
- How you request your assets to be distributed.
- Who will be guardians of your children.
- The positions of trusts you request to be established.
- Any specific monetary gifts to individuals or groups such as charities.
- Your specific funeral requirements.
You do not require a solicitor to prepare a will. However, if you have complicated asset gifting requirements it would be prudent to seek competent legal advice to assist you with preparation of this very important document.
A Will must be updated in the event of the following:
- Divorce or Separation
- Children or Grandchildren
- Financial changes
- Loss of family member
There are numerous organizations to help you prepare your will. There are also Will kits which are available from Newsagents and even some postal office outlets. Of course, all solicitors generally have a very detailed will preparation service available.