Do you have a current Will?
Don't leave it to chance, ensure your wishes will be followed by making a Will.
In the world we live in today you never know what is ahead of you. Whether terrorism, natural disasters, fatal accidents, unexpected health issues or simply passing with age, life is full of unexpected events that you hear about, read about or see almost every day. Life events can impact upon us regardless of whether we are prepared or not. So there comes a time in all our lives when we need to reflect on what would happen if we, a family member or loved one died. Being prepared is important and this means all of us should consider having a Will. We are all faced with an unexpected events, and without a Will your family and loved ones will never know what your wishes were?
Don’t Leave it to chance, ensure you have peace of mind and that your wishes will be followed. Make a Will and ensure the people you care for avoid any further undue upset.
WHY WILLS ARE IMPORTANT.
They ensure that your wishes are fulfilled both for yourself (in the case of Power of Attorney and for an Advanced Health Directive) and for your family and loved ones – when you pass away. If you own property and assets, you may want to have a will. That way you, rather than your state government, can decide who gets your property and assets when you die. In most cases, wills are written legal documents, but some states do recognize other types of wills. The legal requirements of each state can vary, so it's essential that your will is drafted and executed properly.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document which ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you die. The main reason for having a will is to allocate your property to heirs in any way you like. But there are other things you can include such as funeral arrangements, legal guardians for your minor children, and who should serve as executor of your will or trustee of any trusts you create. Your Will can cover all your assets such as your home, land, car, shares, bank accounts, insurance policies and personal items such as jewellery and family photo’s. Essentially, you can give to anyone anything that you own in your Will.
It is essential to have a Will, for if you pass away without one, what is called the law of intestacy will take effect. When you die without a will, state laws known as "intestate succession laws" will decide which family members will inherit your estate and in what proportion. In most states, your spouse and children take priority under intestate succession. However, if you want other people to inherit some of your property, or if you want to leave everything to your spouse and children, but in different proportions than your state's law provides for, a will is the best way to ensure that the state won't make that decision for you. This law of intestacy means that your loved ones will not be allocated your property or assets in the way you had perhaps intended. Preparation of a Will is quite a simple process. However, if it is not prepared correctly it may not be valid and therefore may not be recognized. This is why you should have a Solicitor prepare your Will. A Will can be changed at any time you wish and making of a new Will makes any previous Will you may have null and void.
When you have prepared your Will you need to ensure you keep it in a safe place and advise the Executor to your Estate where this is. As a Pre-Paid Legal member safe custody of your Will is included automatically as part of any personal membership plan. You are of course entitled to copy of your Will.
Finally, on the subject of Wills, there are a number of important issues concerning Wills that need to be outlined.
The Executor: – this is the person who will administer your estate and is responsible for seeing that the terms of the will are carried out.
In simple terms – who will distribute your property in accordance with your request? Acting as an Executor of an estate is a serious responsibility which can involve alot of complicated, time consuming and in some case onerous work.
An Executors duties can include: – looking after the funeral arrangements, if necessary ; interpreting the Will ; interpreting any relevant legislation and regulation ; completing all legal documentation associated with the estate ; determining the beneficiary entitlements ; obtaining probate, finding and collecting the assets of the deceased ; preparing tax returns and identifying capital gains tax ; paying all outstanding debts ; distributing the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries ; keeping records and preparing financial statements.
Even for an uncomplicated Will and a small estate, your role as an executor can be complex, daunting, and demanding. Most executors arrange for a solicitor to perform these duties, with costs met by the estate.
If you are left in charge of an estate, regardless of whether or not there is a Will and you need some assistance or you are unsure about what to do next. As a Pre-Paid Legal member you have the advantage of being able to utilise our Executor Assist Service as part of your membership to assist you through the often complex and daunting tasks you need to undertake during the administration of a Deceased Estate.
Beneficiaries: – these are those people who will receive the property in your Will.
You can make special bequests in your Will such as particular items of jewellery of family heirlooms.
You can also leave some or all of your property to charity if you wish.
You can intentionally delete a relative or a friend from your Will and give the reason why you do not wish for them to
receive any of your property.
Finally, you can use your Will to detail how you wish to be buried and how you wish your funeral arrangements to be conducted. You may like to consider taking out a Pre-Paid Funeral plan, for more information click here.
Avoid the upset of family argument.
The division of an estate after death comes with many emotions. The slightest differences can result in hurt feeling and recriminations. As divorce becomes more complex and blended families more common, dividing assets has become even more complicated. A typical situation is when you're in a second marriage and have children from your first marriage. In this case, allocating your property purposefully between your second spouse and your children can give you peace of mind and prevent your family from fighting over your possessions.
How do I make a Will?
It is important that you have a professional help when considering the future security, wealth and well-being of your family and loved ones. As a personal legal plan holder you automatically receive a free simple Will and Power of Attorney as part of your legal plan membership. Simply complete the will questionnaire enclosed in your membership kit and return it to our offices at:
Pre-Paid Legal Services Pty Ltd
Suite1/160 Burswood Road, Burswood
Western Australia 6100
We will ensure your Will is prepared properly by one of our Estate Planning and Administration professionals so you have peace of mind in knowing your wishes will be followed. We offer our members years of experience when it comes to taking instructions and offering guidance, so you can relax knowing everything is taken care of. Check to see if you need a Will here.
How do I Ensure Safe Custody of my Will?
A Will is the best way to ensure that your instructions for the well-being of your family is carried out when you are no longer around. But writing a Will is only half of the story. The other half is keeping it in a secure place. Some people hide their Will so well it is as good as lost! Most people would keep it in a bank safe deposit box. Not a good idea when it comes to a Will. Simply because when the account holder is no longer around, the deposit box and everything in it will be frozen. What can your family do then?
A far better solution is to use our Will Custody Service (Wills Bank):
> Prevent tampering and preserve confidentiality.
> Safe from calamities such as fire and flood.
> Free from accidental or deliberate destruction.
> Controlled access with Personalised Custody Identification.
> Certain to be found when needed.
> As a PPL member you can review, change or update your Will every year if you wish.
A simple Will with power of Attorney is free with any Pre-Paid Legal personal plan. For more information on Wills, click here.
For more information about our Wills and Estate services, contact us for assistance.