Wills

A Will is a legal document that clearly states how you would like your assets distributed upon your passing. This might include property, cash, shares and jewellery. Your Will also appoints a trusted person or company to be your Executor who will distribute the estate’s assets on your behalf.

WILL vs ESTATE PLAN

A Will is an essential part of an Estate Plan but it does not cover all areas of your estate. Whilst a Will deals with your directly held assets on death, an Estate Plan considers your total wealth, and covers who will be responsible for managing your care and finances if you lose the capacity to do so before death.

Your Estate Plan may include:
  • Your Will
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Superannuation Binding Death Nomination
  • Guardianship of children
  • Establishment of trusts
  • Ownership of businesses and interests
Your Will may include:
  • Property
  • Appointment of an Executor
  • Cash and shares
  • Jewellery
  • Furniture
  • Other chattels

DANGERS OF A DIY WILL

DIY Will

A DIY Will may seem like an efficient and cost-effective option, but it can be fraught with risks. Consider John’s case:

John is 64 years old. He has been married twice and has two children from his first marriage which ended in divorce. His second marriage is to 33 year-old Louise who has no children.

John has written a DIY Will in which he leaves all his assets to Louise including his home and shares. She has done the same. Should they both pass away, the estate is to pass to his children.

Three years after writing his Will, John passes and leaves Louise with his entire estate.

 

What about John’s children?

Two years later, Louise remarries and has a child with her new husband. Now that her family situation has changed, Louise changes her Will leaving her estate to her new husband and, if he dies before her, to their child. John’s children do not benefit from his estate at all.

With careful estate planning, John could have ensured that his children were provided for, possibly through a Testamentary Trust, no matter how Louise’s situation changed following his passing.