5 Key Things to Remember When Drafting Your Will

5 Key Things to Remember When Drafting Your Will. Photographed by PeopleImages.com - Yuri A. Image via Shutterstock.

Do you have a legally sound will in place? Here’s five things to remember when drafting your final bequests.

We have all heard stories about families fighting over assets when a loved one passes away without a will. Shockingly, around 50% of Australians do not have a will, which can lead to significant complications and stress for their loved ones. 

Here are the top five things to remember when drafting your will:

 

1. Choose the Right Executor

The executor of your will is responsible for managing your estate, ensuring that your assets are distributed as per your wishes, and handling any legal or financial obligations. It’s crucial to choose someone you trust, who is organised, and who is willing to take on this responsibility. Often, people choose a close family member or a trusted friend. However, you can also opt for a professional executor, such as a lawyer or a trustee company if you prefer.

 

2. Be Clear and Specific

When outlining your wishes in your will, clarity is paramount. Vague or ambiguous language can lead to misunderstandings and disputes among beneficiaries. Clearly specify who will receive what, whether it be specific assets, sums of money, or percentages of your estate. It’s also important to address contingencies – for example, what should happen if a beneficiary predeceases you.

 

3. Consider Your Digital Assets

In today’s digital age, it’s not just physical assets that need to be considered. Your digital assets, including online accounts, social media profiles, and digital files, should also be addressed in your will. Provide detailed instructions on how these should be handled, including access information if necessary. This ensures that your digital legacy is managed according to your wishes and prevents any potential issues for your executors and beneficiaries.

 

4. Update Your Will Regularly

Life is constantly changing, and so should your will. Significant life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the acquisition of new assets should prompt a review and update of your will. Regularly reviewing your will ensures that it reflects your current wishes and circumstances. A general rule of thumb is to review your will every three to five years or whenever a major life event occurs.

 

5. Seek Professional Advice

While it is possible to draft your own will, seeking professional advice can help ensure that your will is legally sound and covers all necessary aspects. A lawyer or a qualified will-writing service can provide valuable guidance and help you avoid common pitfalls. Professional advice can also be particularly beneficial if you have a complex estate or specific wishes that need careful planning.

 

Where to Find More Information about Wills in Australia:

For those looking to draft their will in Australia, there are several national resources and organisations that can provide valuable information and assistance:

1. Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department: This department offers resources and information on wills and estates, including guidelines on how to create a will and what to include.

2. Public Trustee Offices: Each state and territory in Australia has a Public Trustee office that provides will-writing services, estate planning, and administration. These services are often low-cost or free for eligible individuals.

2. Law Society Websites: Many law societies offer directories of solicitors who specialise in wills and estates. They also provide resources and information on estate planning.

Drafting a will is an important step in securing your legacy and ensuring that your wishes are respected. By keeping these key points in mind and seeking the appropriate resources, you can create a comprehensive and effective will.

Kitchen table promises are not enough – learn Why Clear Inheritance Instructions are Important for Baby Boomers here. Searching for ways to manage your personal finances? Read these 5 Essential Tips to Help Manage Your Personal Finances.

Feature image: Photographed by PeopleImages.com – Yuri A. Image via Shutterstock.
This article was first written by Vanessa Stoykov and supplied to Hunter and Bligh.

Written By

Vanessa Stoykov

With over two decades of experience in the wealth creation space, Vanessa Stoykov knows how important it is to have courageous conversations in order to achieve financial freedom.

From her 25 year history of owning a financial services education-focused media business, Evolution Media Group, Vanessa has a deep understanding of the finance world and has the unique ability to communicate this in a way that everyday people can understand.

To learn more about Vanessa, go to her website www.vanessastoykov.com