By Jamie Pouwhare
When should you make your Will? The answer is simple… You should make your Will now!
Unfortunately, we live in an unpredictable world. Things can happen when we least expect it. Prepare for the worst but always hope for the best!
This doesn’t mean you can start making a Will straight away. There are important things you should consider before you make a Will like:
- Whether you own any assets;
- What you want to happen to your assets;
- Who you will trust to care for your children;
- Whether you have any sentimental items or family heirlooms you want to go to particular people;
- Who you will trust to carry out your wishes;
- Whether you want to leave instructions for things like funeral arrangements;
- What might happen if you leave someone out of the Will.
These are just some of the things you should consider before making a Will. As you can see writing a Will is a little more than pulling out a piece of paper, writing your wishes and hoping your loved ones will find it. Therefore you should start the process as soon as possible.
You should make a Will if you want to ensure your wishes are respected. It doesn’t matter whether you have a lot, or you have very little. Making a Will is not just for the well off. You may have a small amount of cash, a car, family heirlooms or items that mean a lot to you but not very much to others. You want to be sure that these are left to people of your choice who you care about.
There is a strict format that must be followed when it comes to preparing a Will. Otherwise there is a risk that it may be invalid.
Having an invalid Will means you will be treated as if you didn’t have a Will when you die. Strict formats under what is called the laws of intestacy will be used and people you care about may not be included.
If you are in a de facto relationship and aren’t married your partner may not be included in the standard formula used in NSW. Unless your relationship is registered, has been for a period of 2 years or you have a child together then your partner will not be recognised as a spouse and won’t be left anything. The standard formula becomes increasingly complicated when there is a blended family of children from previous relationships of either or both partners.
You may even have a friend you care about dearly who you want to leave some of your assets to. The standard formula used under intestacy laws only includes relatives. If your wishes are different to the standard formula then you should make a Will now.
The decision to get married is a significant one. So if you’ve decided to make the leap we know this is to someone you care about deeply. So it goes without saying that you want to be sure that your husband or wife is taken care of. This is something that should be important to you, not only now but even after you’re gone. Take care of your partner for the future, make a Will now.
When you get married any Will you have becomes invalid under New South Wales law. So even if you already have a Will in place, you will need to make a new Will to ensure that your wishes are known, respected and valid under the law.
In life not all things go as we planned. Sometimes relationships and marriages come to an end. This isn’t something you planned for and can be a really difficult time for you. Over the life of your marriage you may have built up a significant amount of assets. At one point in time you would have been happy for all of this to go to your husband or wife. Now that you have decided to part ways it is important that you think about what will happen to you’re your assets when you die. You may already have a Will and if that is the case you will need to make a new Will to update your wishes. If you do not have a Will then you really should make one now to ensure you don’t fall into the category of dying without a Will because this could mean your ex is entitled to the lot.
There isn’t a happier day in your life then the one where you child or children are born. It takes only seconds of looking into their little faces to know you will do whatever it takes to protect them for the rest of their lives. The thought of you not being around one day to make sure they will be ok is hard to think about. But unfortunately this is an inevitable part of life. We cannnot predict the future and we just don’t know when this might occur. If you have children and you want to be sure that if the unthinkable does happen that they will be cared for by people you trust and know will love them almost as much as you do. Make your Will now so you can be sure your children will be taken care of.
So when should you make your Will? Start the process of making your Will now. Protect your family and your assets.