A Will is a set of instructions as to how your assets shall be divided when you die. A will is prepared when you are alive and have a sound mind.

Upon death an Executor is appointed under the provisions of the Will and an application is made for Probate. Once probate is granted, the administration of the estate will transfer or sell assets according to the instructions within the Will.

Who needs a Will

If you are over 18 you should have a Will.

Dying without a will is known as dying intestate. Having a valid will ensures the assets you have are gifted to those that you have chosen, not those who are specified by law if you die without a Will.

Areas to consider when making a will that can make the process more complicated are:

  • You have large asset holdings;
  • Complex asset holdings (businesses, family trusts);
  • Minor Children;
  • Previous Spouse/Partner;
  • Divorced;
  • Divorced and remarried;
  • Complex family situation;
  • You wish to leave someone out of a Will that would be entitled under the law.

An efficient will also ensures the most tax-effective way to gift your assets leading to unnecessary tax bills for your estate and your beneficiaries.

When to make or update a Will

People over 18 should have a will. When there is a change in personal circumstances, consider updating your will. These can be life events like:

  • Marriage/Separation/Divorce
  • Birth of a child
  • Retirement
  • Buying or selling real estate
  • Change in relationships with family members

Relation to SMSF Wills

A personal Will can not direct the SMSF interest of a Member. An SMSF will or BDBN has to established to deal with your SMSF wishes.

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