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A Guide to Preparing your Will

9 Oct 2017 Nowra 0 Comment

What is a Will?

A Will is a document that sets out your wishes for the distribution of your assets after you die. It is important to realise that specific legal requirements need to be followed for a Will to be valid.

Why do I need a Will?

If you die without a Will (that is, intestate) your assets will be divided according to a formula set out in legislation. In other words, if you don’t have a Will you don’t have a say. This may not be what you wanted, and the process may cause stress, delay and expense. If your only living relatives are more distant than first cousins, your estate will be paid to the government.

When should I make and update my Will?

It is recommended that everyone over 18 years has a Will. It is particularly important to make a Will when you are getting married, divorced, or if you are living in a de facto or same sex relationship. Travel, having children, buying a house or other significant assets are some of the many reasons why you should have a Will. It is advisable to review your Will every five years, or when your circumstances change.

What should I think about before making a Will?

Before you make your Will it is a good idea to make a list of your assets and the people you want to leave them to. Thought should be given to what age children should receive their share and how you want your assets divided. You also need to choose a responsible and competent executor.

Who should I name as executor?

An executor of a Will carries out the wishes of a person after they die. The role of executor is to collect the estate assets, pay debts and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will. It is important to have an executor who understands the financial, taxation and legal implications. If there is the added complication of a dispute, it is particularly important to have an independent executor. Although you may feel it is a compliment to appoint a friend or relative, being an executor can be a burden at a difficult time. NSW Trustee & Guardian is impartial and has trained and experienced staff to administer the estate including accountants, taxation and investment experts, and solicitors. If you have been named as an executor in a Will but do not wish to take this on, you can authorise the skilled staff at NSW Trustee & Guardian to take over the role for you.

 Can I do my Will myself?

You can prepare your own Will but it is not advisable. The drafting of a Will is a specialised and often complex task. If a Will is not in accordance with legal requirements there may be a need for an application to the Supreme Court for legal interpretation, which may differ from what you had intended.

 

This is an extract from a brochure prepared by the NSW Trustee & Guardian.  For further information  refer to their website www.tag.nsw.gov.au

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