Prepare Your Will: Things You Need to Know and the Best Time to Do It

Lawyersofsydney.com.au May 13, 2019

At some point, we all have to say goodbye to planet earth regardless of the cause. When this happens, it is almost obvious that you’ll want the property that you leave behind to be inherited or shared amongst your family, dependents or even some donated to charity. For this reason, it is important to write a will, which is simply a legal document that says how you’d like your property to be shared, inherited, and managed. In some places, preparing a will could even exempt you from certain property taxes.

Without further ado, here are some things you need to know about preparing a will, including the best time to do so.

It should clearly state your beneficiaries

The person writing a will is called the benefactor. As the benefactor, you have to select your beneficiary or beneficiaries, who are the persons you intend to leave your property behind to in the case of your unfortunate demise. This may include real estate property, money, and other belongings.

Failure to indicate your chosen beneficiaries may have your property distributed amongst your family based on the applicable laws in your state or country. However, wills can be really tricky to prepare and you may want to look for the best wills lawyer Adelaide has to offer if you come from South Australia, for instance. They can guide you through choosing beneficiaries as well as educate you on the other important things that a proper will should highlight to become legally valid.

It should have an executor

An executor in a will is a person who’s designated the task of ensuring that your wishes are carried out as per the will you wrote. Considering the sensitivity of the matter, you will need a responsible person of high integrity. Your executor could be someone of high caliber that you dearly trust, a bank, or even an attorney. More often than not, executors need to be compensated, which is something to take a keen note on.

It should specifically highlight who gets what

Inheritance matters can sometimes be very tricky, especially if there is more than one potential beneficiaries involved. For this reason, you will want to be specific about who should get what is in your will. For instance, If you have stepchildren, you could easily leave your family fighting in court for years simply because you did not specify on what should they be getting in your will.

Witnesses are required

To be legally valid, your will needs to be signed by at least two witnesses in most places. The witnesses should not be potential beneficiaries and they definitely should be at least 18 years or older. Choose people who will most likely be around when you are not.

It needs to be properly stored

Your Will also needs to be stored in a place where it can be accessed without your presence of a trusted person. You don’t want to leave behind a will that won’t fulfill your wishes.

When to write a will

There’s literally no better time to write a will so to say. However, there are certain situations that could trigger you to write one or update your existing will. These include when you notice you’re getting older or when diagnosed with a terminal illness and you’ve accepted it, among other triggers. However, it should be prepared when you’re able to make your own sane decisions.

Writing a will is important. As a matter of fact, it is one of the best ways to protect your family and your property when you die. With the above pointers in mind, you now know the basics of preparing wills and when you should do it.

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