Don't have a will? Watch out

Are you one of the many Australians without a will? You obviously don’t care what happens to your assets when you’re gone then.

But if you do care, you need to create a will – fast.

Many people are under the assumption that creating a will is difficult, or it’s simply too far down their ‘to-do’ list.

Young people particularly don’t believe that they need a will until they are closer to retirement age.

But if you are married, own property or any other significant assets, you need to put a will in place so that you have control over your assets.

A will is a legal document that sets out how your assets are distributed when you die.

They are not just for people with significant wealth. A will enables you to provide for the people you care about and enables you to choose someone you trust to carry out the instructions in your will.

Over the Christmas break one of my clients tragically died of cancer. This person didn’t have a will in place and so died intestate, which means the estate passed to the next of kin.

This person had no control over how or to who the assets would be distributed. Essentially, this person delegated the decisions about distributing their estate to the law.

The result was favourable in this situation but could have been disastrous if relatives started making claims against the estate!

A will is essential if you want control over the distribution of your assets and to avoid messy disagreements between your family members.

It will also stop any unwanted claims from relatives occurring.

It is particularly important to have a will in a multiple family situation, where there may be children and ex-spouses from previous relationships.

To protect yourself and your loved ones, make sure you move creating a will to the top of your ‘to-do’ list.

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