Do I need a Will?
What happens when you die and don't have a Will?
Good question! But to be honest, the real question should be what happens when you don’t have a Will. That will really highlight why you need a Will!
Here are 3 issues that will more than likely happen if you don’t have a Will when you die:
Your assets go to who the law says, not necessarily who you want;
Others may not be able to access your funds; and
Someone needs to step up to distribute things.
Let's explore those 3 issues more.
1. YOUR ASSETS GO TO WHO THE LAW SAYS, NOT NECESSARILY WHO YOU WANT
You have no say in who gets what and sometimes circumstances may mean that the law will give things to people you might not want to benefit from your death. For example, if you have separated but not yet divorced, your ‘spouse’ stands to get a majority of your assets… And if you have re-partnered, but not yet divorced, your current partner may not receive anything… even if you have been living together for a year… it may turn into an ugly, bitter and costly fight.
And it is not just houses and big things like that – I am talking about cars, furniture and effects, bank accounts and if your super and life insurances are paid to your estate, then it would include those as well.
The Order of people that the law says things are to go to when you don’t have a Will are:
brothers and sisters
nieces and nephews
uncles and aunts
2. OTHERS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS YOUR FUNDS
When you die, a death certificate is not always enough to enable people to have access to your funds or assets. A death certificate only confirms your death, not that the person who has it is entitled to access anything.
If there is no Will and the bank or institution requires confirmation that you can access the funds/item, then they need to apply to Court. That includes your spouse, children or anyone else who is wanting to administer your estate. That can be costly and time consuming, especially when dependent’s need access to your account or need to sell assets to help with expenses etc.
3. SOMEONE NEEDS TO STEP UP TO DISTRIBUTE THINGS
If you don’t have a Will, you have not nominated anyone to act as your executor/trustee i.e. the person to go through everything, pay your bills, and then give out your assets. Someone has to do it, so if no one puts their hand up, then the Public Trustee may have to do it – and if they do, they will charge a fee…
If someone does step up – it may not be someone that you would want to. Oh, and remember that spouse we spoke of above at point 1 – the one you have separated from? Well, they can apply to be an administrator of your estate… and may get it if no one else applies/objects. And if someone does object, then there will be costs… out of your estate…
Starting at $220 for a simple Will the question really is why you wouldn’t just get a Will done up now! Having a Will gives you peace of mind, gives your family peace of mind and it gives you control over what happens when you die. Death alone will cause enough stress and anxiety for your loved ones, don’t leave things in a mess for them to have to pick up the pieces of your estate as well. Give us a call today or book in online to speak with us about getting your Will done up. We have a quick turnaround in getting it all done and dusted – all signed from 3 business days from when you first see us.