Five things you should think about before making a Will
One question we are frequently asked is: ‘is there anything I need to keep in mind if I’m about to make a Will?’ Everyone’s circumstances will be different, and our solicitors will be able to give advice specific to your needs in your appointment. However, we say there are five things everyone should think about going into a will appointment – these are as listed below.
Do I know who I want to be my executors?
The choosing of an executor is a major part of the Will: they should be someone you should trust to deal with your affairs after you have passed, and carry out your wishes efficiently and in compliance with the laws of South Australia. This may be your spouse, children, family members, friends or trusted professionals.
Once you have thought carefully about the best person for the role, make sure you have updated information about this person, including their full legal name, occupation, address, date of birth and telephone number.
Do I know who I want to leave my assets to?
If you’re thinking of making a Will, you have probably thought about who you want to leave your assets to: make sure you double check the full legal names of everyone you want; if you want to leave a donation, make sure you know what charity you are donating to including whether you want to donate to a specific branch of the charity.
Have I thought of back-ups?
Keeping in line with our macabre train of thought: have you thought about what would happen if someone in your Will passed before you? Can you think of someone who could be a back-up if your executor wasn’t able to act? What about if some of your beneficiaries predeceased you?
Make sure you have considered alternatives, and you have the all the information you need for any back-ups you have chosen.
Do I have control over assets in a non-personal capacity?
Creating a Will means planning beyond your personal assets. This includes assets you might not own personally, but might be controlling through a trust, or through a company. If any of these apply to you, make sure to have copies of any of these documents handy, and bring in any Trust Deeds or Company Constitutions that are relevant when you’re speaking to someone about your Will.
Do I want an Attorney Or Substitute Decision Maker?
An ‘attorney’ or ‘Substitute Decision Maker’ can be appointed for your Power of Attorney and Advanced Care Directive respectively. This is someone you choose to stand in your shoes if you ever lose the capacity to act for yourself. In the case of Power of Attorney, this will allow them to exercise legal rights on your behalf in relation to your financial matters; in the case of an Advanced Care Directive, this will allow them to be the decision maker for medical, lifestyle and guardianship matters such as accommodation and palliative care.
Are you not sure of whom to choose, or are you unsure about a complicated family structure, asset or corporate structure? Whilst you cannot eliminate uncertainty from the future, our solicitors can provide you with the tailored legal advice you need to be assured of your choices.
To speak with one of us personally, call us on: 8323 9066.