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By Elias Angeletti

10 August 2023


If you are an adult you should have a will prepared. It’s not a debate. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you have, you should have a will.


For as many good reasons as there are to make a will (including making your wishes clear and known, to making it easier for your stuff to be dealt with in our modern, heavily bureaucratic society, to simply having peace of mind), there are just as many excuses given for not taking action. These are some of the most common ones we hear:


·      “I don’t own anything”


Yes you do. Having a will isn’t just about real estate and investments. It’s about what happens to EVERYTHING you have, from the clothes on your back, to your furniture, pets, plants, and any money you have (either cash or in bank accounts), and so on.


You have the opportunity to clearly say EXACTLY what you want to happen to what you have. Why waste it?


·      “I’ll get around to it later”


All things going according to plan, most people don’t want to think about getting a will done until they have reached a particular point where life forces them to (usually middle age and older). But not everyone has that luxury.


Life is fragile and impermanent even at the best of times, and unexpected things happen every day. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to be prepared, no matter what may be around the corner.


·      “My family know what they want, when I pass away they can take care of it however they see fit”


Legally speaking, no they can’t. Wills set up two main things:


o  Who gets what; and

o  Who is in charge of making sure it gets done.


If you don’t have a will, then the law steps in to fill that gap. It may be that someone you don’t want to have this power will be in the decision-making role. It also may be that that the law gives your estate to people you do not wish to have it, while skipping over those important to you. This is especially true if you are estranged from your blood relatives. In some cases your estate may even end up in the hands of the State Government.


If you know what you want then it only makes sense to put it down in a valid will so that this can actually happen.


·      “I did my will years ago, they can just use that”


A will is intended to last a very long time (from the point you make it until you pass away) but you should review it periodically to make sure it is still doing what you want it to do. If it’s not, then it’s time to do a new will.


Also, certain life events can change a will. If you have gotten married after making your previous will then it is no longer valid (except in specific circumstances). If you have gotten a divorce since making your will then the will is not invalid but, depending on its terms, maybe read differently.


Large life events like this make it important to update your will.


·      “I used a home will kit I got from the store. This should be fine.”


If done properly then a home will kit can be acceptable. However, regrettably, these will kits often aren’t properly filled in by the people using them. This leads to disputes, and difficulties with fulfilling your wishes. The costs of dealing with these problems are paid from your money and this reduces how much is left over for the people you care about.


Your death will be hard enough on your family and loved ones. Don’t make it harder than it has to be by being poorly prepared.

Organise a time to make your will today.