A 2018 survey showed that more than 50% of Western Australian adults do not have a Will. If you die without a Will in Perth, you have died ‘intestate’. The law provides for your estate to be divided in a certain way when you die intestate. Your estate is divided between your spouse and children (if you have them) in certain proportions. If you do not have a spouse or children, your estate is divided between distant relatives. Dying intestate prevents you from disposing of your estate as you wish.
This is something Leach Legal want to help you avoid. Preparing a valid Will (and avoiding intestacy) means your final wishes and instructions are safeguarded after you are gone.
A Will can cover everything from assets, to care of your children, charitable donations and even instructions for your funeral.
Your assets may include houses and land, shares, business investments, savings accounts cars, boats, industrial and jewellery.
It is also important to understand and deal with assets held in family trusts and understand how testamentary trusts can be part of a prudent estate plan.
Don’t overlook items of emotional value; cherished heirlooms and meaningful personal belongings should also be included in your Will.
Guardianship of children
Your will should ensure your kids are looked after according to your wishes. Although you may have a verbal understanding that a sibling, close friend or relative will look after your children, a Will makes those instructions clear.
Trusts and streaming
An experienced Perth Will lawyer can help you increase the value of the inheritance you leave for your beneficiaries.
Donations and bequests
Many charitable organisations depend on bequests and gifts from Wills. This is your opportunity to create the legacy you want to leave behind for your preferred charities; for example establishing your own charitable trust.
Funerals are a very personal thing. Your Will can include instructions and financial allocations for the funeral service to make sure your life is memorialised in the most fitting way.
Who is responsible for ensuring your final wishes are carried out? The role of executor is an honour, but also a responsibility. Consider carefully who has the capacity in terms of time, legal knowledge and commitment to carry out your wishes.
How a Perth Will lawyer can help
Wills are an essential part of a broader estate plan, which also includes superannuation death nominations, powers of attorney, enduring powers of attorney, enduring powers of guardianship, testamentary trust arrangements and more.
Elizabeth O’Sullivan is a highly experienced Perth Will lawyer who has been with Leach Legal since the very beginning. Elizabeth advises and drafts all kinds of Wills, as well as offering complete estate planning services.
Contact us today.
Disclaimer: Free 15-minute consultations apply only to family law matters and not estate planning.