We get it. Thinking about what might happen to your family and your stuff when you are no longer here is a tricky topic and one that is very easy to put on the back burner in our busy lives.
Unfortunately in our line of work, we often see disasters unfold when people haven’t taken the time to put in place documents that reflect their wishes. These situations can be difficult and costly to untangle, not to mention the stress that can be caused to family members who are already dealing with their grief.
Luckily, it’s easy to take some steps to try and prevent these situations from arising. We appreciate that people often don’t know where to start or what decisions they need to make, so here’s some things you need to think about when you’re considering making or updating your will:-
Executor- who will be the person or people in charge of carrying out the instructions left in your will? We often suggest appointing more than one person (or a back up person or people to your preferred executor).
Guardian- who will be the person you appoint to look after any children you have if they are under eighteen years old when you die?
Beneficiary- who will be the person or people you want to inherit your estate? Usually people choose family members, friends and charities (or a combination of these). A beneficiary can be left a specific item or amount of money from your estate, or a share in the “residue” of your estate (which means whatever is left over in your estate after any specific gifts are made and any debts, taxes, funeral expenses and costs are paid)
Funeral or burial wishes- although these wishes when expressed in a will are not binding, we often find that people like to provide some guidance to their executors regarding their funeral service and burial or cremation wishes.
Superannuation and life insurance- super can often be a bigger asset then people expect, especially if there is a life insurance component to your super policy. Proceeds from your super account and any life insurance pay out do not automatically get treated in accordance with your will and we suggest bringing a copy of your most recent superannuation statement and details of any life insurance policies you may have to your appointment so we can help you consider these matters.
We hope that this is a useful starting point. We would be happy to meet with you and tailor your will to your circumstances and it is our priority to give you advice in a practical and down to earth way.
Drop in to one of our offices or call us today on 5231 9400 for a quote and to make an appointment- you can find us in Colac, Camperdown, Cobden and Apollo Bay.