There are many excuses for not having a will.
“I don’t have anything anyway?“
You might at the time you die. This might include an inheritance, lotto win, redundancy payout.
It’s not about how much you have, its about making sure what you do have goes to the people you want it to.
“It’ll just go to my spouse/children, won’t it?“
The short answer is, “It depends”.
We’ve seen it all go wrong for many reasons. Some of them we can help protect you from; some we can’t.
We’ve seen the cleaner claim to be a spouse; we’ve seen a second spouse end up with it all, leaving the children of the first spouse with almost nothing.
We’ve seen the children attempt to leave the second spouse homeless.
“I did one in a Will Kit about 10 years ago“
A lot can happen in 10 years. Have you even read it since then? Do you know where the original is? Did you name your mother your sole beneficiary before heading off on that around the world trip during which you met your life partner?
Not every old will needs to be updated; but every will over 2 years old should be reviewed; if only by you.
“I saw the Public Trustee and they did it for free“
Are you aware of their fees for acting as your executor? or managing the funds for your beneficiaries to be held in trust for perhaps 18 years?
Many times these functions can be performed by the beneficiaries of your will for free.
Our simple advice is that you don’t pay for the document – you pay for the advice.
Yes, a Will Kit document might be as valid as one we draw. But are you certain what you have written is appropriate for your circumstances? Are you certain it was validly executed? Are you certain you have received advice about potential challenges to you will?
As much as a well crafted will can assist your family to move on, a poorly thought out succession plan can prevent closure for many years while they all argue it out in court.
One of the most common phrases we hear during a Will consultation is, “I hadn’t thought of that” and really, that’s why you should consult a solicitor. Only by seeing a solicitor can you be sure you have a Will which is appropriate for you and your family.