Is your Will worth the paper it’s written on?
If you are over the age of 18, and especially if you have assets, dependants or have recently separated, it is important that you come see the expert team at Callea Pearce to create a Will tailored to you to ensure your wishes are followed and your assets are distributed how you desire after you die. If you don’t have a Will, the law will decide how your assets are distributed, which will often result in your assets not being divided how you want them to. It is also important to discuss with us your wishes regarding other important matters, such as who you want to be the guardians of your children. By creating a Will, you avoid placing more stress on your loved ones to deal with than they will already face when you pass away. In many ways, it is one of the most selfless things you can do.
Regularly review your Will
Preparing a Will is not set and forget. It is vital that you review your Will regularly as changes in your life can make your Will ineffective or even invalid. Ideally, you should review your Will annually as it is likely that your needs and circumstances will change many times in the course of your life.
Healthy Will checklist
Many life changes can impact on the validity of your Will. If any of the following occur, you should come see us to ensure your Will is updated and valid:
- Have you married? Or separated from your partner?
- Have you had any children?
- Is the person you named as executor, to carry out the wishes in your Will, still alive and well enough to do the job?
- Have the circumstances of any beneficiaries changed to make you reconsider your wishes, or have any of them died?
- Have you nominated any specific gifts that are no longer valid or don’t exist, for example, have you sold a property that you had left to someone in the Will?
- Have you acquired any new assets that you would want to make specific plans for in your Will?
At the same time as you check the health of your Will, you need to check your super and life insurance. Many people assume their superannuation will be divided up in accordance with the wishes in their Will, but that is not necessarily the case. We can help you check your super policy and life insurance to ensure it is allocated in the way you want.
Powers of Attorneys
We also strongly recommend when considering preparing Wills that you also prepare Powers of Attorneys appointing a person to act on your behalf in the event that you are no longer able or available to control your legal and financial affairs, make decisions regarding medical treatment, or able to care for yourself. If you do not prepare such documents, anyone who believes they should be appointed can apply to VCAT to control your affairs and make decisions for you.
It is vital you have a Will, and just as vital that you keep your Will updated following changes in your life. So right after you pop the champagne on your latest property purchase, be sure to Contact Us or drop into one of our offices located at Melton, Werribee and Bacchus Marsh to ensure that your Will accurately reflects your current wishes.
All information in this article is of a general nature and should not be treated as legal advice. You should seek legal advice from us before acting on any of the above information.