Preparation is a big part of our lives, and making a legal will is one of the most important preparations we can make. This is especially true when we have families and loved ones to care for. Despite this though, many Australians die without a will. In fact, around half of us will fail to leave a will, according to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
As well as the sensitivity of the issue, one of the main reasons for this must be because we think writing a will is for someone older than us. So when should we first make a will?
Will Writing by the Numbers
If we’re looking purely at the numbers, you must be at least 18 years old to make a legal and valid will in Queensland. As well as this, you must be of sound mind, memory and understanding for your will to remain valid.
Turning 18 is a milestone in Australia that also comes along with the right to vote and drive, making this a fine age to start considering writing a will. Many of us still feel invincible at this age though, and will writing won’t cross our minds, so what other events should get us thinking about will writing?
Marriage and Family
When we get married, we make a commitment to another person, meaning our financial commitments change too. Our priorities will change again if we have children, and you can reflect all these personal developments in a will.
As well as making decisions about your estate, assets and even debts, your will can outline important information about legal guardianship, should both you and your partner pass away while your children are young.
If you already have a will when you get married or have children, you should highly consider changing it to reflect your circumstances. Similarly, if you divorce, or remarry and start a new family, all of these aspects should be considered in your will.
Home and Business
As property and asset division is a major part of your will, you should make or revise your will when you purchase a new property or business.
A business succession plan can be outlined through your will and your wider estate planning considerations. Your property can also be left to or divided between your loved ones, so any and all properties you own should be included in your will.
Failing to Leave a Will
Preparing a legal will means peace of mind for both you and your family. When you die without a will, the laws of Intestacy will apply. This uses your property and assets to pay off your debts and settle your funeral costs. After these costs are settled, the remaining amount will be divided between family, emphasising:
- Your spouse and/or;
- Your children
These laws don’t consider what assets are used to pay your costs and how the remaining assets are divided. Furthermore, they also don’t consider religious considerations, charities and much more.
If it’s time to create or update your will, then make sure you visit a wills and estates lawyer. Bartels Lawyers are experts in Brisbane, who can ensure your will is written and up to date, according to the law. Contact us today.