A Will is a legally binding document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and the care of any dependents after you pass. A Will not only allows you to share what’s precious to you with your loved ones and leave gifts to charities, it can also help take the pressure off your family members during a difficult time.
At Madison Marcus, we understand that each person’s circumstances are entirely unique, which is why we keep our clients at the centre of what we do, and each Estate Plan is carefully crafted to suit the unique individual’s needs and wishes.
Some common reasons to create a Will include:
To appoint a guardian for your children
Your Will can provide detailed instructions on who you would like to take care of your dependents. Noting your wishes in your Will means that you can clearly articulate and provide valuable insight as to who you believe would be best suited to be their Guardian. You should appoint one or two people you trust for this responsibility, and decide whether you also want this person to manage any inheritance your children receive until they reach a certain age.
If a dispute arises regarding guardianship, your intentions expressed in your Will are an important and relevant consideration that the Court can consider.
To appoint a person you trust to be your Executor
The person you choose to administer your Will is known as the Executor. By choosing a trusted friend, relative or advisor as the Executor, you get peace of mind, as well as the comfort and confidence of knowing that your testamentary intentions are going to be fulfilled as you had intended them to.
Your Executor is entrusted to give effect to your wishes, so it’s important to consider someone who is trustworthy, responsible and honest. It may also be useful to appoint someone who will act impartially or who is a good communicator and can deal with potential issues that may arise.
To protect and decide who receives your assets and valuables
A Will allows you to determine how, to whom and in what portions you want your estate distributed. It also allows you to provide specific gifts to certain people, or to donate to charity. Whether it’s a sentimental heirloom, or a monetary gift, a Will is a great opportunity to pass on any items of value to your loved ones.
To protect your business
A Will allows you to document your intentions as to how or whether your business continues after you pass. It’s important to implement a mechanism for an adult to manage the business affairs or ensure that the person who maintains the business is equipped for the responsibility. A Will also allows you to decide who should inherit parts of the business and in what shares.
To communicate your wishes for your funeral
Whilst it may be a non-binding direction, you may want to include your funeral or cremation wishes in your Will, including any sentimental ways you want this carried out.
If you wish to donate your organs or tissue, you can also note this in your Will, although you should also ensure you register as a donor in the relevant registry.
To avoid a lengthy probate process
When a person passes away, their estate needs to go through the process of probate, which is the beginning of the administration of your estate. If there is a valid Will at the time, the court is able to clearly identify your intentions and this process becomes much quicker. If there is no Will, your estate administration and distribution may be delayed, and becomes subject to the succession laws at the time.
Need advice? Madison Marcus can help
Having your Will carefully drafted by a lawyer will ensure that all these considerations are appropriately addressed. Our experienced Madison Marcus team is happy to assist you to discuss your personal circumstances, and tailor a Will and Estate Plan to accurately reflect your wishes.
If you need assistance to prepare the best Estate Plan for you please phone Madison Marcus on 02 8022 1222 or directly contact Theresa Armstrong, Director, at email@example.com or Maryam Mekhail, our Head of Wills and Estate Planning (VIC), at firstname.lastname@example.org.