When it comes to thinking about the future, many of us are more inclined to book our next holiday than to consider writing a Will. The idea of preparing for the inevitable can be uninviting and even unpleasant, and it’s not surprising that over half of Australians share these sentiments.
However, it’s crucial to understand that a Will is one of the most significant documents you should have at any stage of life. It’s the only way to ensure that your wishes are known and that your assets are distributed according to your desires, providing support to your loved ones when you’re no longer here. This blog aims to provide you with an introductory understanding on Wills.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that outlines what should happen to a person’s estate after their passing. It includes instructions on how assets should be distributed to family, friends, or even charitable organisations. A Will goes beyond asset distribution; it allows you to appoint guardians for your children and pets, specify your funeral preferences, and grant power of attorney for medical or financial decisions should you become incapacitated. Essentially, a Will is your way of ensuring that your estate is handled exactly as you want it to be.
Who Needs a Will?
The short answer is everyone, regardless of their relationship status or circumstances. Moreover, it’s advisable for both partners to have individual Wills rather than a joint one, as individual Wills provide more comprehensive guidance on end-of-life matters and asset distribution, especially if you have children. For those with substantial assets, specific wishes for property distribution, or children, having a clear and valid Will becomes even more critical.
What are the consequences of not having a Will?
Dying without a Will means that the court in your state or territory will determine how your assets are distributed, who will care for your children, and who will serve as the executor of your estate. This lack of direction can lead to unintended outcomes, potentially causing stress and financial strain for your loved ones. The court uses its own rules to distribute assets, prioritising beneficiaries according to the law, which may not align with your wishes.
Additionally, the probate process becomes more complex, expensive, and time-consuming without a Will in place. Making decisions about your estate and guardianship for your children in court can lead to outcomes that differ from what you would have wanted.
Why you should prepare your Will before the Year-End
Before setting off on that eagerly anticipated year-end holiday, one must consider the unpredictability of life. Travelling inherently comes with its own set of risks, and while no one wants to dwell on worst-case scenarios, it’s important to be prepared.
Putting off finalising your Will before a trip, especially an extended one, can place undue stress and uncertainty on your loved ones if something unforeseen occurs. Just as you wouldn’t leave for a trip without making arrangements for your home, pets, or plants, you shouldn’t leave without ensuring the well-being and financial stability of your loved ones. Finalising a Will before embarking on your travels provides peace of mind, knowing that no matter where you are, your wishes are clear, and your loved ones are protected.
To conclude, a Will is a vital document that everyone should have, regardless of their life stage or circumstances. It ensures that your wishes are followed, protects your loved ones, and provides an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. Don’t leave these crucial decisions to chance; take the time to create a valid Will and secure your future!
At DF Legal, we are committed to helping you draft your Will with precision and care, because your future deserves a blueprint that’s as solid as your dreams. Contact us today so we can help prepare your Will.