Let’s face it. In this busy life of ours, all of us have a never ending ‘to do’ list. And while most have thought about preparing a Will, planning for your death is probably not high on the agenda. Studies have previously shown that at least 45% of Australians do not have a Will.[1] With this in mind, we have prepared the list below of 5 key benefits of having a Will:

 

  1. Hey, who is in charge here?
     
    Many of us get frustrated with the hurdles in demonstrating that we are who we are with organisations we deal with on a day to day basis (think 100 points of ID, lost passwords, secret questions, the list goes on …. ).That task can be made even more difficult for those representing deceased estates where there is no nominated executor.  Your Will nominates one or more executors to take charge as an appropriate representative and point of contact, making life easier for family members during an emotional and stressful period.

    It can also make clear any preferred funeral, cremation and burial arrangements giving a clear path forward during a difficult time.

 

  1. Avoiding unforseen consequences
     
    While the law is often clear and well intentioned where somebody dies without a Will, it is understandably a ‘one size fits all’ approach and in our experience, can produce unforseen consequences.

    Take, for example, a person who passes away without a Will leaving no children or spouse. Generally the parents of the deceased would be jointly responsible for administering the estate.  Complications arise that make this ‘one size fits all’ approach difficult.  For example, what if the parents are now divorced? What if the parents are elderly and incapable or unwilling to deal with the estate assets?

    Problems also arise when family members become estranged. From time to time family members can become entitled to an inheritance, even when they have had no contact with the deceased for many years.

 

  1. Doing it for the kids
     
    Making a Will is helpful for nominating preferred guardians of surviving children together with making financial arrangements to ensure that they get the upbringing and education that they deserve.

 

  1. Reducing expense
     
    While there is a clear legal process for administering an estate when somebody passes away without a Will, that process is generally more costly and time consuming for family members or spouses involved.Documentary requirements can be more tricky and time consuming.  There is also a greater risk that estate administration can drag on leaving family members out of pocket for longer for those expenses of the estate that cannot wait for lawful administration.

 

  1. Minimising risks of dispute
     
    Last but not least, one must also consider that preparing a Will with the advice of an experienced solicitor means that you have taken all steps possible to minimise the risk of a dispute in relation to your Estate. An estate dispute can have dire consequences, including family breakdown.  Even if a dispute is resolved amicably amongst family members, in many cases the legal costs of the dispute are paid out of the estate leaving less for your family and loved ones.

[1] https://www.tag.nsw.gov.au/wills-faqs.html