Is your estate in order?
For many of us, updating or even creating a Will is the last thing on our “To Do” list – for so many reasons!
Mostly we are too busy living: running the kids to school; working to pay off the credit cards, saving for the next holiday; planning the next holiday; going for a jog or to the gym; feeding the dog; picking up the kids from footy practice; watching paint dry. Anything but writing a Will!
But let’s think about the reality of what could happen if we don’t have a valid Will, and something happens to us. Who are the people who will be most affected? Is that your partner, your kids, your parents?
What happens if you die intestate?
If you die without making a Will (‘intestate’), your assets and personal belongings are distributed according to law. This means you risk your estate being left to your legal next of kin – who may not be the people you most want to benefit following your death.
Also, what many people don’t realise is that even if your legal next of kin are those you wish to leave your assets to, when you die intestate, it often takes much longer and costs more to administer your estate.
That’s a whole load of unnecessary paperwork, time and money wasted, let alone the additional heartache for your loved ones at a time they could do without the added stress.
Some other points to think about:
- Marriage or divorce cancels the establishment of any previously established Will;
- If you are in a de facto relationship and die without a Will, your partner may not automatically be entitled to your estate.
Bank accounts can also be frozen and a Certificate of Title to your home can be contested if they are only held in your name. This could potentially leave your next of kin with difficulty accessing funds and fighting to stay in their home.
If you have been the partner, parent, child, family or close friend of someone who has died, you will have a very good idea of the emotional, financial and practical impact of the loss of a loved one. You will know from your own experience the extreme toll that emotional stress can take upon us, often diminishing our ability to deal with the trivia of daily life. Let alone the mountain of bureaucracy that follows a death.
There are many things out of our control when a loved one dies. But preparing for our departure, sudden or not, by making a Will is not one of them.
For more information on Wills you can visit www.publictrustee.wa.gov.au who have straight forward information about Wills and administering estates. Alternatively, call us here at Miners’ Promise on 1300 014 124 and we will help you find the right provider in your local area.