According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, half of all Australians do not write a will, leaving their assets in control of the law. Wills are therefore vital but can often be hard to compose. In addition to seeking professional help, here are some tips to get you started.
Use online resources
The structure of your will can be greatly assisted by studying sample wills online. Alternatively, do-it-yourself downloadable templates can be beneficial as long as you read the disclaimers and remember that one size does not fit all.
Keep it explicit
Instead of simply writing the heirs’ names, be exact by including details such as their date of birth, address and relationship with you. Likewise, do not simply include your street address- also include its legal description.
Don’t treat your will like a one-off ordeal. Instead, regularly update and re-write it when occasions such as the birth of a child, a divorce or retirement occur. You should also revise it when you open up a new bank account, buy a new car or move house.
Carefully choose your key players
It is best to choose objective witnesses with the least to inherit. For example, the executor, who carries out the terms of your will, should be a much younger person who is likely to outlive you.
Be sure to state where your assets will go if heirs and beneficiaries become unavailable or unwilling. For example, a beneficiary might predecease you or a charity might stop its operations.
If you need professional help with writing or updating your will, contact us today on (02) 4322 2235.