While it is not pleasant to consider your eventual passing, it is an inevitable fact of life that must be considered. Irrespective of your individual circumstances, there is no better time than today to start your estate planning. The first step is to make a Will and other estate planning documents that help facilitate important legal decisions to ensure your wishes are known and your family is taken care of after your passing.
According to recent statistics, close to half of Australians over the age of 18 do not have a valid Will. It is often the case that people do not think about making a Will until much later in life, or they do not believe they have enough assets to warrant having a Will. However, it is never too early or too late to get your affairs in order.
Over the years, and as society evolves and technology advances, so has estate planning. In keeping with those changes, we have made the process of your estate planning much simpler by introducing our Online Wills platform.
What happens if you do not have a Will?
If you die without a Will, you will be considered to have died 'intestate'.
Having a Will gives you peace of mind that you have made your wishes clear as to how you want your estate administered and your assets distributed.
Regardless of the size of your estate, the last thing you want is for costly legal disputes simply because you did not make a valid Will. More often than not, disputes between prospective beneficiaries and executors of the estate are not only expensive for the estate but also for the other parties involved. They can, if remain unresolved, go on for years and tend to be emotionally exhausting for not only the parties involved but also their loved ones.
What do you need to think about when making a Will?
There are a number of things you should consider before you begin the process of making a Will and other estate planning documents. We have discussed these in details in our article: 5 steps to making an effective Will. In summary, these include:
- Who you would like to appoint as the executor(s) of your estate, along with who you would like to appoint as a legal guardian to your underage children (if any). We have discussed the role of an executor in our article: 5 things Executors of an estate must do.
- Make a list of all your assets and liabilities, including assets and liabilities owned jointly with other(s).
- Decide who will be the beneficiaries of those assets and liabilities.
- Make your Will and inform your loved ones where you have stored it. It is also important to remember to update your Will if your circumstances change (for example, after a separation).
Can you make a Will online?
At Ivy Law Group, we have made the process of estate planning simpler and affordable for our clients. We now offer Online Wills, along with other important estate planning documents including Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship and Advanced Care Directive, which is a quick, convenient, and cost-effective way to getting your affairs in order with minimal fuss.
If your Will is fairly simple and straightforward, we recommend completing your Will online by answering some easy questions through our Online Wills platform. If you feel that your Will may be a little more complex, likely to be contested, or you would like to set up a testamentary trust alongside your Will, we recommend speaking to a Wills & Estate Lawyer for tailored advice to your individual circumstances.
Completing your Will on our Online Wills platform is a simple three step process:
- Answer the questions provided in the
online Will form and pay for your Will securely.
- Our Wills & Estate Lawyers will contact
you within 24 hours to go over your responses and
answer any questions that you might have.
- A final copy of your document ready for execution with instructions will be emailed to you within 1-2 business days after your discussion with one of our lawyers.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.