Every day people make excuses as to why they don’t protect their most valuable assets by having a will.
Classic excuses include:
- I don’t need a will because my wife/kids are going to inherit everything anyway. She/they’ll take care of it.
- Isn’t that for rich, old people?
- I only have a house, not much to worry about really.
- Getting a will is too expensive, and time consuming.
- I’ll be dead anyway, so it’s not a problem.
- If I talk about it too much I’ll jinx myself.
The response to all of these furphies is a resounding NO.
Whilst not having a will may mean that ultimately assets eventually find their way to next of kin the pathway is longer, more expensive, and usually means court involvement – overall a much slower, and much more expensive way to achieve the outcome a straightforward will could secure.
Of course, not having a will means that your intentions are irrelevant, and what you wanted to have happen may not occur. When people die without a will (called an Intestacy) the law sets out a formula that applies to distribute assets in different proportions between next of kin. That may mean a house has to be sold, even if the wife is living there, to satisfy the intestacy formula.
The absence of a will may open the door to a contested estate.
A simple will would prevent unintended consequences occurring.
Wills are usually not expensive (usually under $500). Unless the estate is complex there is no need for a testamentary trust or other complications to blow out the costs of a will. In fact, lawyers make much more money when people don’t have a will, as the sorting out of people’s estates without a will significantly increases the time, and expense involved.
Sunshine Coast Elder Law are experts in Wills, Estate Disputes, Estate Management, Elder Abuse concerns, and Retirement Village Contracts. Contact them on 1800 961 622 or visit www.sunshinecoastelderlaw.com.au