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How Do I Make, or Amend, a Will?

Posted on 23 January, 2015 at 10:50

Why make a will?

We all die.When you do so you will in all likelyhood own some assets.These can take a variety of forms from an inheritance not received by you yet to even airpoints on your credit card.

 

Your will is your opportunity to:

 

  • say who is recive and own your assets after your death.
  • there may be someone you wish to exclude as well.
  • who could recieve just the income from your assets for their lifetime.
  • who gets to live in home or beach-house.
  • who will be guardian of your children until they are 18.
  • to complete all your gifting to a Trust you have set up.to forgive debts or loans owing to you from family member.

 

If your documents ,banking arrangements and will are organised you will not leave a headache for your family to sort out. The likelyhood of a dispute is reduced and legal expenses are much less that if you die with no will.

If you have a will but have remarried or entered into a Civil Union that will is revoked automatically.

make chartable donations and gift money with less complication than during your lifetime.

What happens if I die with no will? (dying intestate)

The law says what happens in this situation. The assets will usually go the surviving spouse or partner and immediate family in set proportions.

This may not be what you or your family want to happen.

 

The basic rules are as follows:

 

  1. If there is a legal or de facto spouse or civil union partner but no surviving parents or direct descendants (children) then that spouse or partner receives all your estate.
  2. If in addition to such a spouse there are children the spouse receives all your personal chattels ,the first $121,500 of your estate and 1/3 of thee rest of your property.The remaining 2/3 of your estste will go to your direct descendants.
  3. if there is a spousal partner, no children but surviving parent(s)the spousal partner will receive all chattels, the first $121,500 and also 2/3 of the estate after that. All the remaining 1/3 goes to the parents.
  4. If there are children but no spousal parner the children receive all the estate.
  5. If there are no spouse or children any surviving parents will receive all your estate.
  6. If those parents do not survive either ;then if you have siblings your brothers and sisters (or their children if they have died) will share all your estate
  7. If there are no siblings as well then your estate will go your Grandparents if they survive
  8. If there are none of these a well then the last destination before the government taking it all is your Aunts and Uncles.
  9. A de facto partner can be disqualiied from recieving if together less than 3 years and there is no child but there can be redress.
  10. Also if a child inherits but dies before attaining age 20 and taking the propertyi it can pass on to their children.

 

(See- Administration Act 1969 s77)

 

Your will may not guarantee your property will be inherited as you wish as there are a few ways family and creditors can challenge a will.It is still the best way. A trust is another way.

Advice is available here to ensure you minimise challenges to your will.

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