Whether it is the end of the year, the start of a new year or mid-year, the best time to plan for your estate is right now. None of us knows what’s around the corner.
It’s not often top of the list of new year’s resolutions, but entering the new year with an updated Will and estate plan could be the most important thing you do, says lawyer Olla Kutieleh.
The close of a year offers a timely opportunity to reflect on your achievements and set your goals for the year ahead.
Part of this process should include getting all your life administration in order, and this includes your Will. For example, have you considered what would happen to your loved ones, and all possessions, after your death?
A professionally drafted Will sets instructions as to who will administer your estate, who will take over the management of your businesses and trust, and distributes your assets according to your wishes. Your Will will also express wishes about who will be the guardian of your infant and your funeral preferences. Needless to say, having a valid Will in place lifts tremendous emotional pressure off your family and friends. Without an up to date Will in place, your loved ones inherit an administrative mess and a time consuming Court process to determine your affairs.
While it is very easy to push your Will and estate planning to the bottom of the to-do list, it could be one of the best gifts for your family.
Getting guidance from an experienced Wills and estate planning lawyer will make it much easier to start the new year off on the right foot.
Have you considered ALL the details?
Simply, a Will outlines who your estate will pass to, and how it will happen. Sitting down with a legal professional experienced in the complexities of drafting Wills and estate documents helps you comprehensively plan for the future and put in place an effective estate plan that takes into account taxation consequences and your supeannuation.
While it is possible to scribble your wishes on paper and call that a plan, or buy a DIY Will kit, you won’t be able to cover all bases yourself, including:
- Superannuation: Do you have a Binding Death Nomination for your super? As part of your Will and Estate, your superannuation needs to be considered and accordingly planned for.
- Enduring Power of Attorney: Who will you appoint to make important decisions for you, on your behalf, if you are unable to?
- Advance Care Directive: Who will be appointed to make health decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated?
- Is your Will complete, valid and up to date? Even if you have a Will, have any life circumstances changed? Does it need to be updated?
It’s recommended that you prepare an enduring power of attorney and advanced care directive at the same time as drafting your will.
Getting a professionally drafted Will is a simple process
People often put off sitting down with a lawyer to get a Will and plan for their estate because of the perception that it is time consuming and costly. This isn’t the case.
For most people, drafting a Will with me looks like this:
- First appointment: During the initial meeting, the details of the Will be discussed in detail. This is a one-on-one chat that can be done in person or via video conference.
- Second appointment: It takes approximately one to two weeks to draft the documents. Once prepared, there will be a second appointment to check and sign the papers.
The right time is now