Having a will is extremely important—this will be a guide for your loved ones once you have passed.
But unfortunately, even if you have a will, it may not be valid or up to date.
Finder.com.au research shows that more than half of Australians do not have a valid will.
If you die without a legally valid will, your money, your assets and your estate may not be distributed the way you intended it to be.
So how can you create a DIY will and ensure you have everything you need. Check out our DIY Will kit guide below…
How to make your own legal Will
Here are some of the things you need to consider as part of the process of making your own legal will:
1. You Need to Be 18 Years Old (or married)
Just like any legal process, you need to be 18 or older to draft your own will. This is the legal age to be able to make your own decisions. If you’re 18 or older, you’re able to draft your own will.
2. You Must have Testamentary Capacity
This means you:
- know the legal effect of your will
- are aware of your own assets
- are aware of the people who would be expected to benefit from your estate
- have sound mental health
3. Appoint an Executor
You need to appoint someone to act as an executor for your will. This is someone who is closest to you and will handle all of the necessary documents and paperwork after you pass. You can choose to nominate a family member, friend, or a professional like a solicitor).
4. Select Your Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries are the people, organisations or charities you choose to benefit from your assets and estate.
It’s important to think about how your assets and estates may affect your chosen beneficiaries. For example, large assets may affect the tax structure that your children or grandchildren have in place).
5. Always Update Your Will
Once you have drafted your will, you need to keep it updated as time passes with detailed instructions. This ensures that your will is up to date in case anything should happen.
Many people that don’t have an updated will end up leaving assets to ex-partners or other beneficiaries that don’t align with their current situation.
Should you make your own will or seek professional advice?
Pros and Cons of a Do It Yourself Will Kit
Writing a will is extremely important. But making sure everything is covered is what makes an estate plan.
While a DIY will kit can be beneficial, it always pays to seek professional advice to ensure you have a legal will.
One of the reasons people use a DIY will kit is because professional advice can be expensive but a DIY will kit can be complicated and may not result in a proper legal will.
You should take the time to talk to an estate planning lawyer, solicitor or trust company to ensure you avoid costly legal battles, save money, and have a legal will.
Talk to your Financial Planner
Your financial planner can’t prepare a Will, but as the professional most likely to have a detailed overview of your financial and personal circumstances, he or she is often the person best equipped to identify estate planning issues and to brief your estate planning lawyer as well.
Your financial adviser may also be able to refer you to an estate planning expert and work with them to create a Will that will deliver a smooth transfer of wealth at a time of great personal distress for your loved ones.
Writing a will is the first step but a financial planner can ensure you have considered all your assets and distributed them tax-effectively for your loved one’s benefit.
If you’re looking to make a legal will or a comprehensive estate plan and want to talk to a financial planner about how you can best manage your finances as part of your will.
How Can We Help You At TNR Wealth Management?
TNR Wealth Management is an experienced team that offers financial planning services in the Northern Rivers.
Our financial advice team can give you a professional opinion on your will, your estate plan and your investments to ensure you make informed financial decisions.
With our help, we’ll be able to guide you through your finances in whatever life stage you may be in.
For more information or to speak to one of our Financial Advisers please contact TNR Wealth Management on 02 6626 3000.