A Will is a legal document that sets out what your desires are in relation to how your possessions/estate should be distributed when you die. Even if you believe that you do not own much property or do not have many assets, you must still consider leaving your valuable sentimental items like artworks, jewellery, photographs etc. to certain people. If you do not have one, now is the time to look into it.
You can make a simple Will by appointing an Executor who is responsible for ensuring that the terms of your Will are carried out. Your Will, once prepared, lasts until you die, unless of course you change or amend it. If you do not have a Will, the possessions that you own will be given to your relatives or next of kin according to a formula set out by “intestacy laws”. This could be very different from what you wanted or intended to happen. Accordingly, we would thoroughly advise you to proceed to have a Will prepared if you do not have one.
With this in mind, Freedman & Gopalan suggests you think about the following when deciding to create or update your Will, and speaking to our team about executing your Will…
What you should include in your Will
• You should clearly identify yourself as the creator of the Will and give enough information about yourself (such as your address) so that the document can clearly be identified as yours.
• You should clearly name the parties you wish to include your Will and, again, list sufficient information about them so that they may be clearly identified.
• You should also clearly state who you wish to be the Executor of the Will.
• What do you want to give away and in what proportion to each party? You should clearly list the assets you wish to leave in your Will.
• How do you want your assets distributed? You should think about the different situations through which this could occur – for instance, if one person passes away before another, how any assets left to them should be divided.
• When do you want these assets to be distributed? For instance, if you would like to leave an inheritance for a loved one who is currently a minor, you should think about clearly indicating at which age any assets should be distributed.
These are merely questions that you should think about to ensure you understand the significance of having a thorough, clear and well-crafted Will. If you are seriously thinking about creating or updating your Will, it is always best to speak to an experienced solicitor and have them discuss your various options.
It is important that you are aware of your rights, your funeral provider/insurer’s responsibilities and how to protect yourself for the things that can go wrong in relation to your funeral. A funeral can cost anywhere from $4,000 for a basic cremation to around $14,000 for a more elaborate casket, burial and flowers.
Typically, the items you will need to pay for when arranging your funeral include the funeral director’s fees, the coffin, transportation, death certificate, permits, burials, cemetery plots and other related sundry expenses including flowers, newspaper notices, the wake etc.
You can plan for your funeral by saving money in a high-interest bank account or by having a funeral bond (these can be arranged through a funeral director), prepaid funerals where you liaise with the funeral director about options and check your money is being put in a registered fund for safekeeping, or rely on your superannuation or life insurance death benefit payment which may cover your funeral costs or funeral insurance policies if you want to spare your loved ones from paying for your funeral. The Executor of your Will is responsible for organising your funeral and paying for it from your estate.
If you have any questions regarding your current Will or would like to have a Will drawn up, please do not hesitate to contact Freedman & Gopalan on 02 8917 8700.