Understand the Process
There are several components that are necessary when forming an estate plan. Learning the essentials of making a will is a vital step. Each state in Australia has diﬀerent rules about what makes a will legal and who can compose one.
The fundamentals of writing a will include being clear about the requirements about the function of a will, what to include, limitations if any, number of witnesses, who can identify as a witness and whether the will must be validated.
Choose your executors well
Executors serve the responsibility for exercising your estate in agreement with your instructions after you have passed. The role of an executor is demanding, and entails handling sizable sums of money. It is important to check if the people you choose are happy to take on the responsibility.
If you are the last living parent, and you pass leaving any children under the age of 18 a guardian will certainly be appointed by the court if you have not speciﬁed who this should be in your will.
For example, if you are unmarried but you and your partner have children, you might not even get guardianship of your children.
- If an unmarried man dies, his female partner automatically gets guardianship of their children.
- If an unmarried woman dies, her male partner does not.
It is important to make clear in your will who you would like to be guardian in your will to avoid having an issues.
Decide who you are leaving things to
Next, it is important to decide how you would like your estate to be distributed. The concept is like giving a slice to the people who are of value to you, and you believe you would like to share your estate with.
For most people, family and friends are always the most important to consider. Although, even a small amount left can be donated to your favourite charities generating a huge difference. A fun fact, legacy donations contribute to approx. $5 billion of charitable donations annually.
Whatever you contribute could be small, medium or big. The important thing to consider is that whatever you contribute can make a huge impact on someone’s life.
Tell Someone Where It Is
Telling someone you trust and your executor where your will is located is also important. A will’s instructions can only be enacted after your passing. Some government agencies, and most law ﬁrms oﬀer a service where you can protect your will from ﬁre, theft or damage.