Top Tips When Writing A Will
The will plays a critical role in the estate planning process since it gives direction on how you would want the estate managed and divided once you die. Below are some vital considerations to make when writing a will.
Decide What To Include In The Will
In Australia, you can only bequeath property that you own. As such, you cannot include joint assets in the will. If you wish to incorporate such assets in the will, you should ensure that they are transferred in your name. It would also be wise to assess your assets to determine which assets should be in the will. For example, you could sell some of the assets if you think that beneficiaries cannot manage them.
Decide Who To Include In The Will
You can include anyone in the will. However, you are legally required to provide to beneficiaries that are directly dependent on you. Otherwise, they could dispute the will on family provision grounds. Take time when deciding who to include or leave out of the will. Remember, you can amend the will at any time to reflect your new wishes.
Consider The Need For Trusts
Trusts allow you to decide how the beneficiaries will use their inheritance. For instance, a beneficiary below the age of 18 may not have the legal capacity to make estate-related decisions. Putting their inheritance in a trust is a sure way to protect their interests until they are of legal age. The trust should have specific conditions. Other than deciding when and how assets are transferred to the beneficiaries, it could also state how estates proceeds should be used. For instance, the proceeds could be used to pay for a beneficiary's medical expenses or school fees, or a portion of the proceeds could go into their life insurance fund.
Leave Special Instructions
Your will should contain special instructions that do not necessarily relate to the division of your estate. For example, you could want a person(s) to take guardianship of your children. You can also forgive debts or instruct the executor to collect debts from particular people. Additionally, you should state your wishes regarding your last rights. For example, it could be you want your body cremated or buried at a particular place.
When writing your will, decide what to include in the will, your beneficiaries, the need for trusts, and special instructions. Hire a wills and estates lawyer to guide you as you write the will and ensure the document meets the required legal standards.
For more information, contact an estate planner or lawyer who prepares wills.