You may decide to engage a lawyer to prepare your will for a variety of reasons: you may have assets you want to go to certain people; you may have experienced someone passing without a will; or you may want to ensure certain people don’t get anything. Whatever your reason, by the time you engage a lawyer you have made the decision that you don’t want the intestacy rules (the legislation which says who gets what if you don’t have a will) to apply.
Making a will is a relatively simple step you can take to make sure your estate passes as you wish it to. Unfortunately, not all wills are created equally.
If your will is not individualised to your circumstances and wishes, it can cost time and money to fix it. A need to approach the Court to rectify or interpret your will adds time and expense to the administration of your estate at a time when your loved ones are grieving your passing.
One category of gifts which can lead to ambiguity in wills, is gifts to children. Today, the ‘nuclear family’ is no longer the typical family type. Traditional definitions used by lawyers, and legislators may no longer be appropriate.
Some people use the word ‘children’ to refer only to their biological children, including those who are lawfully adopted, with a clear distinction for step-children. While other families do not differentiate between the two categories. A prudent lawyer will make enquires with you about the exact legal relationship between you and your beneficiaries to ensure that all the people you want to benefit receive an entitlement and those you don’t do not.
At de Groots we invite our clients to make use of Settify, our online estate planning induction tool which will ask you a series of questions about your estate planning intentions, financial circumstances and family information, including legal relationships. The answers will give us a significant head start on your estate planning, saving you time and money.
By engaging a suitably experienced lawyer to advise you and properly document your estate planning arrangements, including asking the right questions and considering a variety of scenarios, you will obtain the peace of mind of knowing that your arrangements will be legally effective to achieve the outcomes you desire.
Contact our offices today to discuss how we can draft a will that is tailored for your needs and achieves your objectives.