Good reasons to make a Will
Writing a Will means you can ensure that your assets go to who YOU choose. When you write your Will you can choose a person or persons to be the executor of your estate who will act on your behalf and distribute your assets as you have stated in your written instructions – Your Will. You can choose guardianship for minor children and writing a Will protects your family from possible heartache if an unknown executor handles your estate and stipulates exactly who is to benefit from the Will. If you are over 18 years and capable of managing your own affairs, you should make a Will.
Updating your Will
Your Will should be updated whenever there are any changes in your circumstances, in your relationships or if your chosen executor/s is/are unable to execute your Will for some reason. If you marry, divorce, separate, have children, enter into or end a de facto or same sex relationship, make a major financial acquisition or experience some change in either your financial circumstances or relations, and you do not wish to die intestate, it is important that you make a new Will as soon as possible. Even if you have purchased, given away or sold a major asset such as a house or car, you should write a new Will. If you or anyone else named in your Will changes their name or contact details it is a good idea to update your Will. Keeping your Will current and up to date makes if easier for your executor to carry out your wishes. It is usual to review your Will at least every 5 years and completely satisfy yourself that all details are correct.
When relationships change
Marriage will revoke any Will you have made prior to that marriage BUT divorce does not necessarily revoke a Will. In every state except the Northern Territory and Western Australia the law states that your Will is either revoked when you divorce or the section of your Will relating to your former spouse is considered null and void. It is absolutely vital that you write a new Will after you divorce to ensure you do not die intestate.
If you are in a relationship with another person but not yet married, you can write your Will, it will be valid up until you marry. Marriage revokes any Will. If you want to write a Will that is valid now and after you marry, you can do this by including a clause written into your Will that the Will is made in ‘contemplation of marriage’. This will mean that the Will you make now is valid and continues to be valid even after you marry. The Online Australian Will Kit has included this clause in the Will Form for anyone that wishes to make their Will now, and it continue to be valid even after you marry. The Online Australian Will Kit discusses this clause in more detail and contains important instructions on how to fill this clause out correctly.
The most important thing to remember is that when your circumstances change, so should your Will.
How to avoid the pitfalls of DIY Wills.
DIY Will Kits offer a great legal product at a very low price. They are usually easy to follow and can be done in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to make and keep appointments or pay the higher costs of seeing a lawyer or solicitor. If your Will is relatively straight forward and you know what you want, you can usually achieve it with a DIY Will. If you feel that your Will is complicated and beyond the confines of a DIY Will, of course we urge you to seek professional legal advice. But for most of us it is usually about making sure our children are looked after and that our assets that we have worked so hard to own go to who we wish to leave them to.
There are many DIY wills on the market today, all of which are pretty good. There are certain rules to follow to make a Will legal and DIY Wills are mostly good at achieving this. The most important thing to remember is TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. I cannot stress this enough.
Have you ever bought flat pack furniture, tried to put it together and when it didn’t work, had to refer to the instructions and start all over for it to all to just go together perfectly? Well, making your Will is not that hard either, the key is in reading the instructions first. The information about how to write your own Will is some of the most valuable information you could have.
In one’s haste to get the job done, some people often skip the information part and don’t read it, then when they get into writing the Will itself and don’t understand a particular clause, they have to stop, leave what they are doing and try looking it up or even worse, second guess what it means and get it entirely wrong. I have heard that some people even try googling the information even though it is supplied in the DIY Kit! This is dangerous territory simply because you cannot always be sure that information on the internet is correct for you, it could just be someone else’s opinion and not actual fact, or it could be from another country. It is important that if you want to use a DIY Will Kit to take the time to read the kit and you can note the parts that apply to you.
Filling out the Will Form. This is usually your basic information about you, where you live and who you wish to be an executor. It is important that you read the information given about who can be an executor and the role of the executor. This information is usually followed by your assets and whom you wish to leave them to. Assets are normally broken down into different categories and reading the information in the DIY Will Kit will help you to sort your assets into these categories, then there is the residual estate. The residual estate is an important section in your Will, and you should always nominate a beneficiary here, even if you think that you have already given away all your assets to specific beneficiaries elsewhere in your Will. There are good reasons for why I mention this and again, read the information, it will make sense to you too.
Executing or signing the Will. This is one of the most important parts of making out your own Will. You must sign your Will in the presence of two witnesses, and your witnesses must sign the Will to say they saw you sign the Will. You and your two witnesses must sign the Will all at the same time. Information on who can be a witness to your Will and the signing procedure are important legal requirements, so please read the information regarding signing and witnessing your Will.
Sometimes terminology can be a little ambiguous but it is important that you understand what it is you are doing, why you are doing it and how it should be done so that it is effective, serves the purpose for which it is intended and is legal.
While you may have filled out the Will Form dotting all the eye’s and crossing all the tee’s and ensuring that you have left all your assets, your Will may not be legal or valid if you do not execute it correctly. And likewise, if you do not leave all your assets properly or do not nominate a beneficiary in the residual clause but you do carry out the signing of the Will exactly, you could still die partially intestate.
The Online Australian Will Kit has been carefully created and you will find it is one of the best Online Wills, it is easy to use, has instructions at every step of the way and comes with a complete information kit that is easily referred to. The Australian Will Kit contains vital information about how to make out your Online Will, it contains an example that you can use as a guide and it has an important checklist for you to follow so that you don’t miss anything. The key to making your own Will easily and legally is to read the information. All the legal jargon and the hard work has already been done for you. I cannot express how easy it is, BUT you should always read the information first! So if you are using the Online Australian Will Kit or any other DIY Will Kit to avoid the pitfalls, please read the instructions and the information, it’s that easy.