There is no one answer about how to do your Will. It all depends on your assets, your circumstances and who your beneficiaries will be.
You need to make a Will that makes your wishes clear and that is legally valid and binding. This avoids confusion and conflict among your loved ones. Doing this will protect your family and friends from costly and stressful legal disputes.
Who will be your executors?
The Executors of your Will have the legal and administrative task of sorting out your assets and debts after you die. It is their responsibility to make sure that your wishes as outlined in the Will are upheld. This very important role should be handled by someone you can trust who has some financial nous.
Who will be your beneficiaries and what effect will their inheritance have on their circumstances?
You can designate anyone as a beneficiary and distribute your assets in any way you like. However, if you don’t provide for your family and dependants, your will can be contested. Then your hard-won assets are used on litigation fees.
Also, it’s important to consider the effects that an inheritance may have on your beneficiaries. In some cases, a testamentary trust can sidestep potential taxation problems. Therefore it’s important that you get specific advice about your situation.
How do you know a Will is valid?
To be valid, the person making the Will must be mentally competent. The Will must be correctly signed and witnessed, and show no evidence of tampering. The witnesses to the Will cannot be beneficiaries, or related to beneficiaries and must be over 18.
If there is any doubt or potential for dispute as to your mental competence, you should get a doctor’s confirmation of your capacity to make the Will. This document needs to be included with with your Will.
How often should I review my Will?
You should review your Will after any major events. Such as marriage, divorce, property purchase or sale, death of a beneficiary or if your assets change significantly.
We also recommend that you take a look at your Will every five years. This way you can ensure that it is still the best instrument for you and for your family.
We can help
We know the potential pitfalls, and will ask you all the right questions to make sure that you have considered every possibility. We can advise you as to whether you would be best with a Will or a Testamentary Trust.
Capelin Law can design your Will in such a way to help protect your family from expensive estate litigation after your death and we can safely store your Will.
Contact us to discuss your particular situation and your family’s needs with an experienced will lawyer in North Shore.