Having a Will sorted will give you and your loved ones peace of mind. What do you want to happen when you die? Are those you care about looked after? What to you want to happen with your belongings and those that depend on you including your pets? In this article we cover what you need to know about setting up a Will.
Why should you make a Will?
Wills state your wishes should you pass away. If you don’t have one, or if your will isn't valid for some reason, what you want to happen may not happen in reality. This can put your families into legal and financial difficulty, so it’s important to have one in place.
What does a Will include?
Typically, your Will includes a range of things such as:
Details of family members you want to provide for
How you want to distribute what you own (such as property)
Specifying someone you would like to look after your kids
Instructions for leaving special gifts and meaningful things to people or organisations you choose
Special instructions for a funeral
Naming the person who will carry out your wishes
It's also a good idea to set up enduring powers of attorney at the same time as making a Will.
How to make a Will
We can help you to make a Will. It must also be signed and witnessed. If the proper procedures are not followed, a Will may not be valid.
Your will needs both an executor and a trustee. An executor obtains probate of your will from the court (when required) and the trustee carries out your wishes as set out in your Will when we die.
A family member can be appointed as the executor and the trustee – even if they are going to benefit from the Will – but make sure they're happy to take on the role. You can also appoint more than one executor and trustee, letting them share the work and the responsibility.
Appointing a professional executor and trustee such as a lawyer is often a good idea, especially if the estate is large or complicated.
Keeping a Will
Whenever you go through a big life change like the birth of a child or change of a spousal relationship such as a separation, we recommend reviewing your Will.
Make sure to keep a copy of the Will in a safe and accessible place – and let the executor and loved ones know where it is.
5 tips for Wills
When you get married, the Will you wrote before marriage is no longer valid.
If you die without a Will, all your assets do not automatically go to your partner.
If you die without a Will, the government will use a formula to divide up your assets.
The last Will you signed – even if it’s out of date – will be the one used if you die.
Wills are not just about what you leave to people – they can also identify the person you want to look after our children.
Want to know more?
Get in touch with our Legal experts to discuss your options – we’re here to help.