A Brief Summary of Wills and Executors
A will is a person’s wishes for how they would like their assets distributed when they die. Every will must have an executor. An executor is a person, or if you would prefer, the persons you would like to administer your will. Most often people appoint a family member or members to be their executor. However, if your affairs are complex, or if you feel that there may be disharmony in the family, then you may wish to appoint a professional such as an accountant or a solicitor or both as your executor.
Wills also need beneficiaries. A beneficiary is a person or people that you wish to receive your assets. There are also strict requirements for signing wills.
Benefits of a Lawyer-Cited Will
Many people try and write their own wills and whilst sometimes these may be sufficient, more often than not writing your own will is not the best option. It is best to seek the advice of a solicitor. This is because solicitors understand the issues and know what questions to ask you to ensure all your assets pass on as you would want them.
People often do not appreciate that assets that they consider theirs, in law are not theirs or may not necessarily form part of their estate when they die. The most common examples of this are superannuation and assets held in trusts or other business structures.
There is more to writing a will than a will itself. We will consider your assets and if appropriate suggest how you could structure your assets to achieve your desired outcome after your death. This is process is known as estate planning.
A will does not cost as much as you think and if you consider the lifetime of work that goes into acquiring your assets, why wouldn’t you make sure those assets go to whom you wish them to go to.
Costs will vary depending on the complexity of your affairs and the complexity of your wishes. If you want to know more about the cost of drafting a will, please contact Patricia Sheedy or Philip Drew on 03 9707 1155.