Your last will and testament is an important document that serves to uphold your wishes regarding the handling of your estate after your death. There are many factors you will need to think about when drafting your will and everyone’s circumstances are different. However, there are certain things that tend to apply to a broad range of people. Below are four things you may want to think about when organising your will.
Your executor is the person nominated to execute your will after you have passed away. It is absolutely essential that an executor is named to ensure your will is carried out as smoothly as possible. Executors are generally family members or friends. It is common for executors to also be beneficiaries of your will.
This may seem obvious, but the people you want to provide for in your will should be considered carefully. While it is entirely up to you to decide who you would like to include as a beneficiary, certain people may have a claim to your estate regardless.
In Queensland, a spouse, child or dependant of the deceased may contest a will if they feel they have not been adequately provided for. ‘Adequate provision’ can be a difficult concept to nail down, but the court may consider various factors such as the standard of living the claimant is accustomed to, any contributions they made to the deceased’s estate, promises made to them by the deceased as to what they would receive and any other points the court considers relevant.
Nominating a Guardian
If you and your partner are survived by children under the age of 18, you will need to make provisions in your will for a guardian. This is the person nominated by you to make decisions regarding the long-term care of children in the event of your death. Perhaps their godparents or another family member could assume this position. It is best to consult the person you are considering before making your final decision.
It is important to note in your will what your wishes are for your children’s care including the values you want them to be raised with, how their education is to be provided for, any activities you would like them to be involved in and any other considerations you feel are necessary in their upbringing.
Providing For Pets
Many overlook their furry friends when preparing their will. Pets are legal property and should be transferred to the ownership of a beneficiary the same as your other assets. We often consider pets a part of the family and providing funds to cover their upkeep may be something to consider. It is also best to discuss this arrangement with the beneficiary before putting together your will.
Drafting a will may seem like a simple and straightforward process. However, creating a will without assistance from a legal specialist often results in an unenforceable document because some small but important detail has been missed. To avoid any mistakes, and to have peace of mind that your wishes will be respected, contact us for your estate planning needs.