Do you have a valid will?

Creating a valid will is one of the most important things you can do to protect your loved ones. Here we explain how to go about it.

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Seek legal advice

While DIY will kits can seem like an easy and inexpensive way to make a will, they can be fraught with pitfalls.

Your affairs are probably more complex than you think – your family home, business assets, super, investments and belongings. Having a properly drawn up will helps to determine who gets what and can save your family time and stress when you are gone.

Your lawyer or financial planner will also be able to provide insights into how to best structure your will, both to protect assets and to minimise tax. Examples include setting up a testamentary trust to provide for minors or protecting your estate from creditors.

Safeguard your children’s future

Probably one of the most important reasons to make a will is to ensure any dependent children are well cared for should the worst happen.

Sydney wills, probate and estate specialist, Graeme Heckenburg of Heckenberg Lawyers, says generally parents should make separate rather than joint wills, as they are likely to die at different times.

Heckenburg says a will should also appoint a guardian to take care of the day to day living and housing arrangements for the children and a trustee to execute the will and make any financial decisions. This can be one person or two different people.

“If you don’t appoint a guardian and there are young children, ultimately the decision will be made by the Guardianship Tribunal [in NSW]. If the guardianship is contested, the matter could even end up in the Supreme Court,” he says.

Keep your will updated

Once you have made a will, don’t leave it in a drawer gathering dust. Circumstances change over time change, so ensure your will reflects your current situation, particularly if your spouse has died, you have married or divorced or you have become a parent.

 

*Austbrokers Financial Solutions (SYD) Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Millennium3 Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 61 094 529 987 AFSL 244252

The information provided in this document is general information only and does not constitute personal advice. It has been prepared without taking into account any of your individual objectives, financial solutions or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statements and seek personal advice from a qualified financial adviser. Millennium3 Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 61 094 529 987 AFSL 244252. From time to time we may send you informative updates and details of the range of services we can provide. If you no longer want to receive this information please contact our office to opt out.

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