Why Should I Have a Will?
A Will allows you to express your wishes regarding how your estate is to be dealt with. You have the comforts of leaving specific directions regarding gifts, guardians for children, what you want to happen with your business operations, as well as instructions in relation to your funeral and whether you prefer to be cremated or buried. You can also put tax planning strategies in place to maximise the value of your estate for your beneficiaries. Knowing your wishes will also help ease the burden on your loved ones by providing clarity and guidance.
Without a Will there is greater likelihood that it will take longer and cost your beneficiaries more to deal with your estate. If you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to statutory intestacy rules, which may not accord with your wishes.
When Should I Consider Having a Will Prepared?
While it can be daunting to think about death or illness, it is important to start planning sooner rather than later – and if Covid-19 has taught us anything it is that disaster can strike at any moment, our time here is precious and tomorrow is never guaranteed. With that in mind, it is more important than ever to bring estate planning arrangements to the top of your priority list.
If you have money in your bank account, you should have a Will. If you have children, especially minor children, you should have a Will. If you own property of any significant value, like real estate, shares, even expensive artwork and/or jewellery, which is likely to increase in value over time, you should have a Will.
What If I Already Have a Will?
If you already have a Will, well done - you are ahead of the game! However, it is equally important that you keep it up to date. You should review your Will if any major life changes occur, such as the birth of a new child, you move house, you get married or divorced, someone named in your Will dies, you dispose of any assets you left to someone as a gift, and the list goes on... In any event, it is important that you take the time to review your Will at least every five years to ensure it reflects your current wishes and financial situation.
Back in the day of typewriters, it was easier to make minor amendments by codicil, rather than re-type the whole Will. Although making amendments by codicil is still an option, in practice - because of our advanced technologies - it is much easier to simply draft a new Will, especially where several changes are required. This avoids any unnecessary confusion in interpreting with Will when the time comes.
Whether you need your first Will, a codicil, or a new Will drafted we would be delighted to assist you. Contact us today to get started!