If you've decided that it's time to plan ahead and think seriously about your future and the future of your assets, it's the right time to put together a Will.
Having something in place that can guide where your assets are going to go and how they'll be looked after when you'e gone is an important part of setting up your affairs. It's not a matter of being doom and gloom - but the truth is, your Last Things have to be a priority, and we want you to be as organised as you possibly can.
Thinking about making your will but not sure where to start? Here's everything you need to know before writing a will.
Your dependents are going to need a guardian
If you have kids, this is your most vital concern. You need to know who is going to be named as their guardian in your will, and who will be responsible for their health and wellbeing. Choosing a legal guardian doesn't have to be a complicated process, but it should be one that you take seriously. Your children will need to have a guardian who can provide for their needs, take care of their health and wellbeing, and in some cases provide them with a home.
All your assets need to be accounted for
If you're planning on leaving specific assets to different people, you need all of those assets to be accounted for, and their distribution clearly defined and decided in your will. If you don't make it clear what you own and where it should go, you're not going to be able to guarantee that your wishes will be fulfilled. List everything that you own, and try to be as thorough as possible, so you aren't creating problems down the track. The more detailed you can be, the more secure your assets will be.
You need to appoint an Executor
Your will doesn't just happen automatically. You need to nominate an Executor who will ensure that it's followed, take care of settling your affairs, see that everything is distributed the way you've decided, and be the one who is responsible for the right people being involved and receiving the right inheritance. The Executor's role is absolutely vital in this process, and choosing them should be considered carefully. You want someone who is financially astute, reasonable and dedicated. A lot is going to depend on them doing their job right!
You need to identify all your beneficiaries
If you have a cause, a pet, a child, a friend, a family member or a spouse who you want included in your affairs in a specific way, you have to identify who they are and make sure it's as clear as possible. Your beneficiaries aren't going to be assumed, and if you don't take the time to think about who should inherit your assets, or who needs to be taken care of, there's a good chance that nobody else will either. This should be a process where you are detail oriented and where you make sure your will is looking after what's actually important in your life.