Why have a Will
A Will sets out your wishes as to how your estate is to be distributed once you have passed away.
A Will is a legal document and, as with all legal documents, if the Will is unclear, improperly worded, or incorrectly signed, then it may be invalid, and your wishes completely disregarded, with your estate being treated as an intestacy – as if there was no will at all.
A properly drafted and executed Will can give you options as to how your estate is to be administered and distributed, such as:
- You can choose your own Executor/s (that is, the people who will administer your estate once you’ve passed away);
- You can give specific gifts to specific people, from the smallest item of jewellery to the largest property;
- You can appoint guardians for any children;
- You can set up testamentary trusts for your loved ones to ensure that your money and assets are used or invested for the best interests of the beneficiaries;
- Business arrangements can be made which ensure the continuation of a business until a buyer can be found or other arrangements made.
A will is essential to be able to control how things are dealt with after your death. It is very foolish not to have a current, valid will.
What if you don’t have a will?
If you do not have a Will, you have no say in how your estate is distributed when you die.
If you die without a Will, you are said to have died “intestate”. Intestate estates are dealt with and distributed in accordance with the intestacy laws in Queensland.
It is a common misconception that if you are married and have no will then everything goes to your spouse. However, under the Succession Act in Queensland if you die without a will there is a complicated formula that applies to divide up your estate. The distribution of your estate is taken out of your hands and left to the courts to sort out.
Dying intestate may have unwanted consequences such as being required to sell the family home in order to distribute the estate in accordance with the Succession Act, or an estranged family member may benefit from your estate when you do not want them to.
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Want further advice on Wills? Don’t hesitate to contact us, either by calling or completing an enquiry form.