In an earlier blog, The Top Six Reasons why you should not use a Will Kit – Part One, I explained the first 3 reasons why I think people should not use a Will Kit to record their last wishes. To recap, the six reasons are:
- Your wishes may not be carried into effect.
- A Will Kit does not cover all bases.
- A Will Kit does not deal with your superannuation funds.
- Estate Planning is more than just making a Will – what happens to your business and investment assets?
- A Will Kit does not cater for blended families.
- A Will Kit opens the possibility for challenges to an Estate.
Here are my final 3 reasons:
4. Estate planning is more than just making a will. It is not uncommon today for people to have various structures owning assets that sit outside of their estate. These structures include trusts and companies, which means any assets owned by these structures may not form part of your estate and will not be distributed in accordance with your Will. Wherever a trust or company is involved, it is important to seek the advice of a solicitor so that you ensure the assets pass to the intended beneficiaries.
A Will Kit does not provide for these situations and this creates potential for the control of your Trust and Companies to end up in someone else’s hands. For example, you may want your children or someone else in your family to take over controlling these structures and this may not occur.
5. A Will Kit does not cater for blended families. If you do not adequately provide for your spouse (including de-facto spouse) and your children (including step-children), those people will be entitled to make a claim against your estate. If you simply leave everything to your Children in your Will Kit, you could inadvertently be including your step-children whom you may not want to include. This is a complex area of law and a solicitor will be able to discuss with you the appropriate precautions to put in place to reduce a risk of a claim being made against your Estate.
6. A Will Kit opens the possibility for challenges to an Estate. Unfortunately, a Will Kit opens the doors for potential challenges to a person’s estate because the Willmaker does not understand this complex area of law. Then when you combine this with the ageing population making it easier to question a Willmaker’s “capacity” and people leaving beneficiaries out of their Will or a disproportionate to their loved ones, a Will Kit is an easy way to ensure your Estate will be challenged! The only way to avoid this, is to see a solicitor who can put appropriate measures in place to protect your Estate and have everything documented correctly.
If you want to correctly document your intentions and ensure your assets pass in accordance with your wishes, you should obtain the advice of an experienced estate planning lawyer. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require assistance.