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WHY SHOULD I MAKE A WILL?

The simple answer is that making a Will is the only way to legally determine how your belongings are passed on to loved ones and good causes exactly as you would wish.

The alternative is that the distribution of your assets is decided by law, and that law varies by state across Australia (and NZ). Assets, property and belongings will be passed on according to formula and therefore it is possible that some people may inherit nothing, even if the intention would have been to leave something to them in the Will. Equally, some people may receive an inheritance even if that had not been the intention of the person who has died.

The benefits of making a will

To secure your legacy

To get peace of mind that the future security of your loved ones is taken care of

Leave the family heirlooms to those who will particularly cherish the memories.

What happens if you die without making a will?

If you die without a will, your wishes for your estate could be overwritten by intestacy laws where you live. This means your loved ones may have the added stress of the administration process (and financial expense) involved in the settlement of your estate. The time delay and costs involved in settling an estate where no will has been made are significant and will create major stress for your family and loved ones.

The law dictating how your belongings are passed on varies by state in Australia, with no consistency. If you die without a Will in WA, your spouse or partner gets the first $50,000 plus one third of the remainder. The children get the other two thirds. Nothing goes to anyone else (assuming there are surviving partners and children) and precisely zero goes to charity.

On the other hand, if someone died without a Will in Victoria, 100% of the estate goes to the surviving partner or spouse and the children are entitled to nothing.

You can see immediately how this could cause problems for families. If the deceased person had only one child in the WA situation, she or he would get 67% of the estate (less the first $50k). The surviving partner/wife/husband would only receive 33% and therefore the house that they live in could become majority owned by the child.

In Victoria, however, making no allowance for children can also have negative consequences. Imagine a family with several children but where the surviving spouse or partner is separated but not divorced. In this case the children would automatically get nothing without taking some legal action, and while the odds might be in their favour, the legal costs and time needed to settle the estate are likely to be considerable.

The Legal Costs Of Not Making A Will

That brings us clearly to another reason to make a Will. There will be significant legal costs a to settle the estate, and the time involved will be at least twelve months and could be two or three years. Imagine the situation. A much-loved parent or partner has just died. The family begins to grieve and mourn. The death notice is placed in the newspaper and online. The first steps are taken to arrange the funeral and all that goes with it, in the week following death. Then comes a call from the bank a few days later. The bank manager is very considerate and sympathetic but the bank has been made aware of the death and by law it has to freeze the bank accounts of the deceased. The family home is also in the sole name of the person who has passed on. They will be very helpful, and they know what needs to be done, but just having to deal with the bank creates massive stress and uncertainty. What does the family do now?

And so the “intestacy process” begins. A lawyer will need to be engaged. Applications will need to be made to the court and the bank for the family to live in its own home. All very straightforward and all reasonable requests will be granted… but it takes months and money to sort things out. With a bit of luck all the deceased person’s assets are in the one state, because if they’re not then the intestacy laws of multiple states need to be applied. It’s all very well for those families or loved ones who know what to do and how to deal with the issue, but there are millions of people who don’t deal with lawyers or inheritance law and that doesn’t even begin to address the situation in which there is a dispute or disagreement in the family.

The bottom line is very straightforward. Historically, it cost a relatively significant sum of money to make a will, and if circumstances changed, then it cost more again to review and update it.

So, Why Not Make A Will Today With Us For Just $99?

willHQ.com specialises in making Wills online and simplifies the will-making process at a fraction of the traditional cost, and regularly reminds the will-maker to review and update it. The system also informs executors and beneficiaries that a will exists and where it is located.

Please make a will… your family will be eternally grateful that you did.

Get in touch today to talk about how you can make a will online in minutes with WillHQ.

Cost Table: using a Lawyer Vs. using Will HQ

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Lawyer/Solicitor
WillHQ.com Others
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For Australia & NZ
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Update Easily (Online) $300 – $1000 $12pa
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Cost of Writing $600 – $3000 $99 $0 – $199
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