You Really Should Have a Will

What does a will do? Simply put it tells your family/executors/lawyers what you want done with your assets if you were to die. Ok so you may not own much, maybe a car, small bank accounts, credit card, maybe a super fund somewhere. This still needs to be dealt with.

What would happen if you owned a house, or your super fund had some automatic death cover in it, for say $200,000. Now you have some serious assets to leave to someone. A will can make it much easier for those left behind.

Here’s a few more examples of why you really should have a will in place…

  1. A married couple may have been separated for several years but not divorced. If one dies and there are no children, the surviving spouse receives all the estate.
  2. A child’s parents may have separated when the child was very young and the mother may have raised the child without any real financial help from the father. The child becomes an adult and does financially well but dies without a spouse or children. The father is entitled to an equal share of the estate with the mother despite having never helped to raise the child.
  3. A young man works hard and buys a home. He marries but overlooks transferring the home into joint names with his wife. They have a child. When he dies without a will, the house is worth $500,000. Under intestacy laws, the widow receives $100,000 and one half of the balance of the estate. The other half of the balance (assume $200,000) has to be paid to Public Trustee on behalf of the child. The widow may have to sell the house or borrow the money to buy out the child’s interest.

Unfortunately we have worked with many people in these situations – the outcome is never as good without clearly documented wishes in a will.

Wills are usually prepared by lawyers, who document your wishes clearly in a legal format so hopefully it is much easier for those left behind. We can provide you with a referral to several local solicitors and can work with them to make sure your estate planning is done the way you want it.

If you’d like to discuss this with any of our accountants then please get in touch, email us at practice@mackenco.com.au or book in an appointment on (03) 5223 1344

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