You may not think it, but if you have a car, house, a bank account or any possessions at all, you have an estate. And planning for what will happen to your estate once you’re gone is important. So what should your will include?
It’s often something that is at the back of our minds, something we continuously put off, but making a will is possibly one of the most important things you can do in life. If you’ve not got one, you need to write one, now!
Whether you’ve got a little or a lot, having a will is essential to ensuring your assets are distributed to the people you want them distributed to. Without a will, ambiguity over your intentions could mean your possessions end up in the ‘wrong’ hands. Often, this can cause fights amongst your family members, and at a time fraught with emotions, the last thing needed is tension. Whether you have a little or a lot, drafting a Will eliminates the need for guess work after you’ve gone.
Having children is perhaps one of the most important reasons to write a will. Knowing that your children will be in the hands of a guardian of your choosing gives you peace of mind that they will be well looked after, loved and raised the way you would have wanted.
So, what does a will include?
A will typically includes details of what you want to happen with your affairs after your death. And, that doesn’t just include who will get your most prized possessions.
Common will inclusions are:
- Who will take care of your wishes / manage your money
- Provision for children, guardianship & testamentary trusts
- A special gift for someone (i.e. specific gift)
- Do you own a business? Appointment of someone to run it for you
- Writing someone out of the will
- Charitable gifts
- Tax planning
- Burial, cremation, cadavers and organ donation
Without a will, the Court will have an educated guess at who should get your property, based on Queensland Succession Laws. Some of your potential claimants might think they should get more than you think they should which could create rivalries between potential beneficiaries.
Don’t get us wrong – the Court will do its absolute best – but without a clear expression of your intentions, it can only listen to those who survive you (and their wishes, not yours).
It’s not something we like to think about, but tomorrow is not guaranteed. Putting off making a will could be tempting fate and may mean if the unexpected happens, you’re not prepared. Our tip? Check out your options for making a will now, there are plenty of Will and Estate Planners in Cairns, many offering free consultations, so book in to see one today.