The importance of drafting your Will

Often, the thought of writing a will brings up feelings of discomfort and yet, having a Will is one of the most important factors in estate planning. People often procrastinate and their loved ones are left with messy contested estate matters.

A will is a formal, legal document instructing your survivors in the settlement of your estate. We can help ensure your will is properly written and contributes to the overall success of your estate plan.

Composing a will helps to ensure that you control how your estate is divided. An estate that is not covered by a will (also known as an intestate estate) will bring into effect your state’s intestacy rules.

These rules govern how your estate will be divided and by whom. Some people may believe their estate is too minor to need a will, but even if you believe this is the case, you should consider writing one anyway. The reason is simple: If you die without a will, you automatically forfeit the chance to direct the dealings of your estate.

In addition to facilitating bequests, a will is an opportunity for you to designate your own executor, guardians for minor children, and other fiduciaries.

Wills are a means of providing security to you and your loved ones. The topic may be emotionally challenging, but when the many advantages are considered, they far outweigh temporary discomfort. Careful estate planning is the best way to identify how your assets will be divided, who is to be named executor, and who will receive benefits according to your wishes.

In addition to drafting a Will we see it neccessary that our client devise a full and complete Estate plan which includes an Enduring Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Guardianship and Living Will in most cases.

An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone (or two peope jointly) to make financial decisions on your behalf if and when you become incapacitated to make those decisions. Your Attorney/s must act in your best interests and there is legislation governing what they can and cannot do. Similiarily, an Enduring Power of Guardianship allows you to appoint someone to make decisions for you that concern your health and lifestyle. The authority can only be excercised when you become incapacitated and for both the Attorney and Guardianship documents, the appointment ends when you pass away. If you do become incapacitated and do not have these documents in place then your family will be left to make applications to the State Administrative Tribunal to obtain those powers which can be costly, stressful and time consuming.

If you have strong views on how you wish to be medically cared for if you are terminally ill it is imperative to tell your family your wishes and put them in a Living Will. This can make the process that much easier for all people involved.

Consult De Roberto Legal now for specific guidance and advice in relation to the above.

Author: Danielle De Roberto

Partner

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