The top 5 questions to ask yourself when writing your legal Will

Writing a Will can be overwhelming, here are some key questions to ask before you start!
The top 5 questions to ask yourself when writing your legal Will

Creating a Will can be a daunting and scary thought process. However, the peace of mind that formally submitting your wishes provides, serves as a satisfying reassurance for both you and your family while also securing their futures.

Let’s discuss a few of the more common questions and decision-orientated challenges associated with Will creation along with the best ways to approach them:

1. What specifically should my Will include?

Although a number of classifications of Will inclusions exist, it is entirely up to you as the Will maker to decide exactly what to include along with any corresponding details, requests or other particulars.

Your Will may include:

  • Real property, vehicles and other assets
  • Shares
  • Cash
  • Appointment powers and rights
  • Organisational requests for your funeral
  • Ownership of specific items or personal belongings
  • Guardianships for children

While inheritance distribution is important, debt is a commonly forgotten aspect unconsidered by Will creators. It’s a good idea to contemplate how your debts will be managed in conjunction with your assets.

2. Who should I nominate as the executors to the Will?

The executor(s) to the Will is/are the person(s) who will bear the responsibility for accessing and administering your estate as well as delivering on your requests and any instructions you choose to outline in your Will.

The executor can be any person you choose, most commonly a spouse, adult child or another relative you trust to act as an administrator.

It’s best to discuss your intentions of nomination with the person you wish to take on the role. They may not be comfortable with the obligations or may ask to question some of the details before happily agreeing. A potential nominee may even offer suggestions regarding a more suitable executor in the event of a disagreement.

3. How will I distribute my estate?

How you decide to divide assets you’ve included in your Will is up to you. However, it’s generally in good faith to ensure your spouse and children are prioritised prior to providing for others.

Most people have distribution ideas that resemble a hierarchy and often plan the divide of their estate accordingly.

Occasionally, Will makers opt to leave a percentage or specific dollar figure to charity, also known as a ‘bequest’ or a 'Gift in Will'.

4. Who will be my children’s guardian?

The appointment of guardianship to non-adult children is required in the event both parents become deceased. Guardianship rights, laws and responsibilities vary between states and often turn into legal nightmares in situations where a Will didn’t exist, or guardianship requests weren’t outlined.

Close relatives or even siblings are common appointees for Will creators; however, your decision should lie with a trustworthy person with the most supportive capabilities.

5. What are my send-off wishes?

Thinking about your final farewell can be a frightening realisation that we’ll all need to consider this part of life eventually.

Providing your family with the detailed insight and specific wishes for how you’d like to depart with them alleviates some of the frustration and sadness from an already stressful and heart-breaking period.

Including funeral arrangements and other celebratory desires in your Will is the most precise and effective method of communicating and confirming your wishes with the loved ones that will take care of you when the time comes.

Like all Will inclusions, be sure to be as clear and explicit as possible with requests to eliminate potential confusion, misunderstanding or conflict between your family and friends.

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Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice

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