In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin
While the topic of death may not pleasant, you need to guarantee peace of mind not only for yourself but your family too, and this is what a Will does. It provides peace of mind.
What is a Will?
A Will is a document in which you give instruction on how you want your assets to be distributed upon death.
Should you die without one, you die interstate, meaning the government decides who gets what, without any regard to your wishes or your family’s needs.
How do you draft a Will?
Even though a DIY Will can work, it is always advisable to consult a professional. There are however, key requirements that a Will needs to have for it to be valid:
- The Will must be in writing – typed or by hand
- It must be signed by two competent witnesses who are present at the same time as the person writing the Will (the testator).
- It must be signed on every page both by the witnesses and testator.
Please note that a witness cannot be a beneficiary to the Will as it is seen as conflict of interest
- It must be dated clearly
Depending on how complex your estate is, you can nominate a professional attorney or a family member as an executor of your estate. The role of an executor is to follow through on the wishes of the testator.
If you do chose a family friend as the executor, they can in turn appoint a professional attorney to assist as a Co-executor, possibly bringing down the normal 3.99% (incl. VAT) charged by attorneys.
It is important to review your Will regularly especially if there are any life changing events e.g. purchasing a big asset, having children or getting married etc. This is to make sure that the right assets go to the right heirs.