The Importance of a Will
52% of Australians do not have a will.
Of those that don’t have a will, 34% haven’t gotten around to it yet.
WHAT IS A WILL?
A will is a legal document that sets out your wishes for distribution of your assets after your death.
In non fancy legal speak, it is a legal document that tells your family what you want done with your belongs and money when you die.
WHY A WILL IS IMPORTANT
Making a will is the only way you can make sure your assets will be distributed as you wish.
For example, if you want to leave your beloved and award winning pupper, FiFi, to your favourite grandchild because they loved the dog as much as you did, a will ensures this happens.
However, if you don’t have a will, your award winning furry baby could end up in the hands of a greedy relative who may sell the dog to the highest bidder.
While you may not think of what will happen to your pets after you die, you should. You should also think of your money and your personal belongings.
When legendary singer, Aretha Franklin, passed away, she didn’t have a will. While she knew she had pancreatic cancer, she did not “get around” to her will. Under the state law of Michigan (USA), where the singer lived and died, her fortune should be divided equally to her 4 adult sons, but it doesn’t include her long time partner that she never married. More than likely, there will be a big battle about what happens to her reported $80 million (USD) fortune.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, US Senator John McCain who had a will and was diagnosed with brain cancer was so detailed with his will and his funeral that he spoke to those who he wanted to speak at his funerals months and weeks preceding his death.
With a will, every asset you have that holds sentimental or financial value can be given to specific family members, friends, or your favourite charity. It also allows you to exclude people from receiving or benefiting from your assets.
If you care for children, someone with a disability or have others dependent on you, a will allows you to name legal guardians or establish a person of trust. If you don’t have a will, you aren’t able to look after loved ones like you would like.
While each state has different laws, you can easily get a legal will created with a public trustee no matter where you live.
It does suck to think about dying, but look at it from another perspective, how would you like to take care of your family when you’re gone?
This article is intended to provide general information only and it should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought on matters of interest arising from this article.