A Will is a document in which you are able to direct how your property will be distributed after you pass away.
It is important to consider how your Will affects business and financial structures such as companies, trusts, partnerships and superannuation funds. We can also provide advice on Family Provision Act 1972 entitlements.
While you can write a Will yourself, by preparing a Will with a solicitor, the chance of disputes during probate can be reduced. If your Will is declared invalid or you have died intestate (i.e., without executing a Will), it will be distributed according to law, and this may not be to the people that you wish to benefit. There may also be additional costs involved in the administration of the estate if there is not a valid Will. By carefully preparing a Will now, the future costs, time and stress to your family will be avoided.
An example of the operation of the law in distributing a deceased’s estate is where the assets will become the property of the Government. This will only occur when the individual has died leaving no spouse, children, parents, siblings, nephews or nieces, grandparents, uncles or aunts, or the children of uncles or aunts.
Another example is if a person died leaving a spouse and children, then the spouse will receive the household chattels and the first $50,000 and one third of the balance of the estate. The remaining two thirds of the estate will be divided between the children. In certain circumstances, a defacto spouse will be treated in the same way as a married spouse.
Creating a Will also gives you the opportunity to decide who shall be your executor, donate to charitable institutions, and ensure that your estate is distributed according to your specific instructions.
A Will also becomes important where there are spousal and/or de facto relationships and blended families. This is because the law may operate in such a way that people that who you want to receive your estate may not inherit.
It is vital that you update your Will if there are changes in your circumstances. This includes both financial and personal circumstances. Marriage and divorce automatically revokes your Will. Therefore, following these significant events it is important to ensure that you have created a valid Will.
At O’Sullivan Law we have been writing clear precise wills for years so you can be assured that your estate will be protected and divided to your exact requirements. Call now 08 6389 0305.