There are many important aspects to consider when making your Will:
- keeping it simple if possible;
- you cannot give away jointly held assets –they pass to the other joint holder(s) on your death;
- your superannuation – are your instructions to trustee of the superannuation fund(s) consistent with your will;
- close relationships or dependencies;
- if you anticipate disputes over the will as proposed, speak to the parties who are likely to be in dispute or get legal advice;
- do not view your will as an instrument of retribution without getting legal advice; and
- get the exact names of any charities.
These person or persons or corporation fill a very important role in your estate. They have considerable power once appointed by the Supreme Court and considerable responsibility.
Who should I appoint as my executor(s)?
They should be person(s) who are:
- willing to take on the role;
- financially reasonably competent; and
- available (e.g. parents are trustworthy but they will probably not survive you and similarly, good friends who are overseas should not be used).
If you anticipate that there may be disputes and litigation about your estate then you should consider appointing a professional trustee or solicitor as your executor.
The executor of a Will is responsible for carrying out the wishes of a person after they die. There are many steps involved in being an executor and duties may include:
- making appropriate funeral arrangements and paying for the funeral;
- finding the last will of the testator;
- making an application to the Supreme Court to prove the Will as the last Will and testament of the testator;
- contacting beneficiaries;
- collecting assets and ensuring that they are distributed to the correct persons or corporations;
- paying any proper claims and debts of the testator; and
- preparation and management of accounts.
The executor can get legal and other professional help for the preparation of these duties.
If you have children who are under 18, you may wish to appoint guardians. Similar principles apply to this and appointing executors. However, an appointment of guardians cannot be proved in court in the same way as a Will and is subject to the laws relating to children’s welfare.
Why you have not made a will already?
- never got around to it and too busy;
- too hard;
- not planning to die any time soon;
- superstitious; or
- don’t like solicitors.
‘Only the last one is a good reason’
Call Packham Solicitors on 02 9410 3846 for obligation free consultation about wills and probate.