Most people don’t think about their death very often. However, if you have assets and possessions in Sydney or have children who do, it’s important to consider drafting a will. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but certain steps must be taken for your plan to work effectively.
Choose the right executor.
- The person or professional (such as estate planning lawyers in Sydney) you choose to be the executor must be reliable and qualified to handle the many responsibilities of this role. They should also have a good relationship with everyone in your family, mainly if any potential conflicts arise during probate proceedings.
- Follows your wishes. Your executor should be interested in carrying out your final wishes as expressed in your official estate plan documents, whether a will or living trust. This person should know what needs to be done.
- The last thing you want is for someone else’s actions on behalf of your estate after you’ve passed away to cost more than necessary because of poor planning, lack of forethought, etc. So, choosing wisely here can save everyone some trouble down the road.
Choose a beneficiary
- You want to ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes and not by default. If you don’t specify who should receive them, they may go to the government or someone else who has no connection with you.
- Don’t forget about more minor apparent beneficiaries. For example, think again if you’re thinking about making life insurance proceeds payable directly to your estate for tax purposes!
- Know where superannuation contributions are going once there’s nothing left for them anymore so that if there’s any outstanding debt attached, creditors have access to what remains from their respective obligations first. Then go ahead and transfer those funds into another account which can be kept safe until needed later.
Choose what you want to leave to your children
You should choose what you want to leave to your children and how you want them to use it. For example, you may go all of your estates outright. However, if not, you can still specify what each child will receive—for example, by naming a beneficiary for an IRA account or life insurance policy. Your children might also have a right under state law to inherit any property that has not been left explicitly in your will (called “intestate”). The estate planning lawyers in Sydney could help you get up to speed with the laws regarding appropriate estate planning.
Include a letter of wishes
This powerful tool can be used to give your executor instructions about how you would like to be treated. It’s also an important step in estate planning because it allows you to express precisely what kind of care and support you would like, if possible, and any other wishes. In addition, do not hesitate to let them know whether or not any individuals should NOT receive anything from your estate (for example, estranged family members).
Will is essential for all
It’s vital for anyone with assets, possessions, and property to consider drafting a Will. The purpose of a will is to direct how your estate is distributed after your death. A Will also allows you to nominate guardians for your children and appoint personal representatives who will manage the process of distributing your assets upon death.
A validly written and executed last will and testament is generally required to provide an executor with authority to administer an estate according to its terms after the testator (i.e., maker) dies.
If you want to ensure that your children and grandchildren are well taken care of in the event of your death, then take the time to get started.