According to Benjamin Franklin, “In this world nothing can be certain, except death and taxes”. As we all know, there is certainty in the paying of tax, but in the case of death, there seems to be a common misconception that if you don’t have a Will, everything sorts itself out. Wrong. Everything does not sort itself out.
Nowadays, with blended families and the development of superannuation, not having a Will creates difficulties and obstacles for your loved ones. At a time where your loved ones are grieving, disputes with banks, account departments for outstanding pay and leave and superannuation funds is the last thing they wish to deal with, especially if your spouse is dependent upon the release of these funds to survive.
A Will allows you to document what you would like to occur with your assets after you have passed.
Upon death, if you do not have a Will, you are said to have died “intestate”. This means that your estate (your assets) will be distributed in accordance with legislation. Each jurisdiction has its own legislation dealing with intestate estates.
Taking Queensland as an example, as a general overview, an intestate estate is distributed as follows:
Some of the common problems that I see in intestate estates include:
Preparing a Will can be a relatively simple and inexpensive exercise, which offers your loved ones security and certainty in a time of loss and grief.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss preparing a will or any estate planning issues.