8 reasons YOU need a valid will

Life can be incredibly busy as we’re looking after our finances, families and careers. This explains why almost half of all Australians don’t have a will. When you’re too busy living who wants to think about dying? But it’s really important to get a proper will sorted.

Why? A will ensures that the things you care about today and tomorrow will be looked after and passed on just as you intend. It also gives security that your family won’t be left with a financial and legal burden at their most difficult time.

Don’t be like Prince!

Did you know that Prince, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley all died without a will? This explains the bitter and protracted battles their families waged over their fortunes in the aftermath…

But what about you? If you pass away in Australia without a will, you die ‘intestate’. It means that State Intestacy laws rather than your precise instructions will determine how your estate is managed.

Without a will:

  • Your assets may be distributed against your wishes
  • Decisions about your estate could be made by someone you don’t trust
  • Your estate could take a long time to settle
  • The cost of settling your estate could be significant

When you pass away, your estate will be settled – regardless whether or not you have a will. So you might as well be the one who has the final say and ensure your wishes are carried out.

But wait! I’m young and don’t own property, only some savings and my super. Do I really need a will? Isn’t it only for older or wealthy people?

Yes, even younger Australians should start a will.

The reason is that when you start to tally up your savings, investments, superannuation and assets, you may discover that your estate is actually worth quite a lot already. If nothing else, starting a will when you’re young gives you something that can then be revisited and updated at a later date when it’s really important.

And if you’re thinking about buying a house, getting married and having kids, then drawing up a will is absolutely crucial. That’s because a will isn’t just about your assets, it’s also about choosing executors, making funeral arrangements, appointing guardians for your children … and much more.

So here are 8 reasons why no matter your life stage, YOU need a valid will:

1. Beneficiaries
No matter the stage of your life, you do have an estate already. But without a will, it will be State legislation rather than you that determines who benefits.

2. Wishes
Most people have certain ‘wishes’ for their death, including burial or cremation or songs to be played at a funeral. With a will, those instructions are set in stone.

3. Children
If you have kids or you’re planning to start a family one day, a will can set out who will be appointed guardians for your minor children.

4. Executors
Somebody is going to be appointed executor of your estate, but without a will, it could be someone you don’t trust or the State who is put in charge.

5. Conflicts
Too many deaths result in legal claims against an estate that simply would not have happened if they had a properly drafted will in the back pocket.

6. Costs
The management of your estate is more efficient and therefore cheaper if a will is guiding the process.

7. Stress
We shouldn’t worry too much about death, but it is a certainty. With a will in place, you get peace of mind not just for today, but also certainty that when you go, you’re not making a difficult time even harder for your loved ones.

8. Charity
Having a will is the perfect opportunity to make a difference, as many people set out charitable gifts or donations.

Tomorrow is not a promise, so prepare for your passing and write a will. Your future you (and your family) will thank you for it.

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