Writing a will is one of the most important parts of appropriate estate and financial planning. However, not many people recognize the benefits of having a will in place when they die. In Australia, only 60% of legal adults have prepared a will, according to the Australian Law Reform Commission.
Despite its benefits, many people put off or ignore the necessity of having a will in place. This article will help you understand how this piece of paper can guarantee the welfare of your surviving children and ensure that your desires are carried out even after you pass away.
Table of Contents
What is a Will?
A will, commonly called a “will,” is a legal document that expressly outlines a person’s desires for how their assets will be distributed and how their affairs will be handled when they die.
The testator, or the person writing the will, can choose to what extent their belongings, money, and property should be distributed to beneficiaries, heirs, or charity organizations in this legally binding document.
Furthermore, a will frequently name an executor who ensures the testator’s desires follow the document’s instructions. To ensure its legality and enforceability, a will must be created and carried out by legal requirements, which vary depending on the jurisdiction.
Why Do You Need a Will?
People often think that a will is made just to divide assets and properties left by the testator. But this is just one of the few things guaranteed when you write your will. Here are some of the reasons why you should start preparing your own will:
Decide Who Inherits Your Assets – and Who Does Not
One of the most known benefits of having a will in place when you pass is asset distribution. With a will, you can specify how your estate will be divided after your death. This will lessen the likelihood of disputes within the family about who will inherit what from your estate.
A will enables you to name friends, relatives, or charitable organizations as the beneficiary of your assets. You can avoid future disagreements among heirs and lay a strong foundation for the equitable distribution of your assets by clearly stating your desires.
Ensure The Welfare of Minor Children
For parents with minors, a will goes beyond just dividing up assets. A will enables you to name guardians for your children in the event of your untimely death. This important clause guarantees that the people who will look after your children are people you trust and have selected according to your principles and views.
Protect Your Assets
Using smart estate planning, you can reduce the tax consequences on your estate and leave more of your assets to your designated beneficiaries. You can hire will lawyers in Adelaide to investigate different tactics, including creating trusts, that can help preserve and increase your fortune with the help of a well-drafted will.
A will also let you designate how particular assets are to be handled and allocated, safeguarding your legacy and guaranteeing that your hard-earned money is spent as you intended. This is especially important for people with unique assets, complicated financial portfolios, or commercial interests.
Safekeep Your Pets
Having a will is highly recommended if you own a pet. You cannot leave any assets to your pet in your will since pets are regarded by law as property. However, you might designate a reliable friend or relative as the beneficiary of your pet. You can even give them money to help with your pet’s upkeep if you ask them to take on the role of guardian or caretaker.
Minimize The Lengthy Probate Process
The legal procedure known as probate is used to disperse a deceased person’s assets, pay off debts, and give any leftover property to heirs. It is lengthy and tedious. A will will streamline this process and may cut down on the expenses and time involved in probate.
However, the probate procedure may grow drawn out and complicated without a will. Creditor claims, legal disputes among heirs, and other issues could surface and put your loved ones through needless worry and financial hardship. Making a will and preparing beforehand will help ensure a more efficient probate procedure.
What Happens If You Die Without a Will?
Without a will, the division of your inheritance may be decided by government rules and decisions made by a probate court, which frequently results in outcomes that may not reflect your desires. Without a will, disagreements amongst family members could occur, resulting in protracted legal conflicts.
Furthermore, the probate procedure may get increasingly difficult and drawn out, which could put a financial burden on your estate and cause your heirs to experience mental suffering. A will is an essential estate planning instrument that allows people to leave a precise, legally binding record of their intentions for the fair and efficient distribution of their assets.