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THE IMPORTANCE OF WILLS

Tue, 11 Feb 2014

THE IMPORTANCE OF WILLS

Do I really need a Will?

If you die without a Will, the law dictates who receives your property in accordance with a pre-determined formula. There is no guarantee that your assets will be distributed in the way you would have preferred and in some circumstances your assets can end up being passed onto the government.

Dealing with an estate without a Will can place unnecessary stress and financial burden on your loved ones during an already difficult time. Nominating who you wish to receive your estate on your death in a valid Will is a simple and cost effective way to ensure that your wishes are carried out on your passing.

Additionally, if you are in a defacto or same sex relationship and you die without a Will your partner may still be entitled to part of your estate. However, your partner will need to prove the relationship and their entitlement, this can involve a lengthy and expensive court battle where the outcome is not guaranteed. Nominating your partner as your beneficiary can eliminate the need for your partner to endure this process.

If you have young children, you are able to nominate a testamentary guardian of your children in your Will. This can provides them with the ability to make important decisions about your child’s future, such as their education. There are many ways that you can ensure the future welfare of your children is as secure as possible. Affinity Lawyers can recommend the suitable solution for your unique circumstances.

But I already have a Will...

We recommend that you review your Will every 3-5 years. As your circumstances change, so too can your wishes about the way your property is distributed. Nominated sums of money that seemed reasonable 10 years ago, may no longer be adequate. Conversely, some assets may have increased considerably in value resulting in an unequal distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries.

Marriage, divorce, and entering into a new relationship can all be sufficient reasons to invalidate an existing Will. You may also wish to include new family members.

Your executor is the person responsible for handling your affairs after your death. You should regularly consider whether your nominated executor is still the most suitable person for the role.

Affinity Lawyers can review your existing Will to ensure that it still meets with your wishes.

Can’t I just write my own Will?

While anyone able to draw up a Will, there are strict conditions that need to be met to ensure your Will is valid. This area of law can be very complex. It is important to receive legal advice in relation to your Will to ensure that that your loved ones are adequately provided for and that your property is distributed in accordance with your wishes.

Affinity Lawyers on the Gold Coast provide a personalised and friendly service, providing you and your loved ones with considerable peace of mind now and in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any enquiries.

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