An up to date Will is an important document for everyone to consider.
Having an up to date Will ensures peace of mind for you, and makes life much easier (and less costly) for those left behind.
Not having an up to date Will often means your wishes are not carried out and those left behind incur greater cost and greater anxiety in sorting out your affairs. There is enough emotional turmoil on the death of a loved one, don’t add the burden of not having an up to date Will on the shoulders of those you care about.
Whilst it is possible to buy a Do It Yourself Will Kit, I would recommend you seek the professional advice and service of a Solicitor. The cost of a Will is minor compared to the cost of sorting out the affairs of someone who had an invalid Will because they tried to do it themselves.
In effecting a Will there are several areas you should consider.
Who do you want to be the beneficiaries of your Estate? Not only who you would like to receive all or part of your estate when you die, but who will benefit if your first choice beneficiary (or second or third) predecease you. This is particularly important in terms of your Children and their Children.
The Executor of your Estate is the person who you choose to administer your affairs. You should choose an Executor who is unlikely to predecease you and you should nominate an alternative Executor. We feel it is important that the Executor be someone in tune with your wishes. The technical side of managing a deceased estate is easily handled, provided your Executor is aware of the services provided by professional Solicitors, Financial Planners and Accountants.
It is possible some funds may be held for some time in trust for Beneficiaries who have not yet reached the age you nominate for them to receive the bequest. You should nominate a Trustee for the funds and also set guidelines regarding what sort of investments they can make.
You may also consider leaving certain items to specific individuals. This is called a bequest. Bequests may also have some capital gain’s tax benefits, as it can obviate the need for the executor to sell an asset of the estate.
When you review your Will, also speak to your solicitor about Powers of Attorney. Whilst a Will gives your instructions on your death, Powers of Attorney allow someone to handle your affairs in the event you can’t because of an injury or extended overseas trip for example.