There are several important things that need to be considered when making an appointment with a Will making Solicitor.
Who you will leave your wealth to. It is usual to provide for Levels of beneficiaries. What is usual is something along these lines:
Level 1 – spouse
Level 2 – children in equal shares
Level 3 – children of children stand in their parents shoes
Level 4 – gift over to others … if no survivors above
While the law recognises freedom of a Will Maker to leave their wealth to whomever they choose, it also places a duty on a Will Maker to make adequate provision for those who might reasonably expect to benefit from your estate. Failing to balance these can result in Family Provision (court) applications by disappointed beneficiaries following your death.
Are you expecting or engaged to be married in the near future? The Will of a single person will be cancelled upon their marriage unless it is expressly made in contemplation of that marriage.
It is important to take this into account to make sure your intentions for giving to your fiancé and/or other beneficiaries are carried out.
Who will be responsible to administer your estate? Our tip is to have a loved one take this role. They can take advice as they need to but they know your circumstances, estate and beneficiaries better than anyone. What is usual is something along these lines:
Level 1 – spouse
Level 2 – children (if they are adults); or other close family or friends if they are not
However, executors can charge a “commission” for carrying out their role so some advice from one of our Brisbane Will Making Lawyers on this is advisable.
Power of advancement
Your Will should contain a broad power of the executors / trustee to apply monies for the education, maintenance and advancement in life of minor beneficiaries.
If you have infant children it is wise to appoint your chosen guardian of those infant children in your Will. If there is a “power of advancement” estate monies can be used to defray the expenses of raising the child but will not fund a bigger car or house extension. Therefore a “guardian gift” may also need to be considered.
Giving property on trust
If you have a considerably large estate (valued in excess of $1Million), you may want to consider the benefits of giving your property to be held on trust for your beneficiaries. Trusts under your Will (Testamentary Trusts) have certain significant tax and asset protection benefits that are well worth considering in the right circumstances.
Will Promises or Agreements
Have you entered into any agreements, whether by verbal agreement or in writing, where you have promised to give certain things to particular people upon your death?
You need to consider the effect of any of the following:
– Binding financial agreements;
– Will contracts;
– Buy/Sell agreements in relation to business interests;
– Mutual wills;
– Will promises (even oral promises).