Jan 18, 2024 12:00:55 PM

3 Things to Consider When Writing a Will

Topics: Financial Health, Health and Wellbeing, Financial Advice 0

Writing a will is an essential step in ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you’re gone. Even if you don’t own significant property, assets or investments, writing a will saves your family and friends time, money and arguments, and helps make a difficult time easier. In this guide you’ll find three important things to consider when writing a will, along with tips and key aspects to look out for to ensure a smooth and legal process.


Tip 1: Determine guardianship of minors

Many people are prompted to write a will after the birth of a child, wanting to ensure a secure future for their children should the worst occur. If you have minor children, appointing a guardian is an important decision to record in your will.

  • Decide on a suitable guardian and discuss your decision with that person to ensure they’re willing to accept the role.
  • Record your wishes for your children in your will.
  • Include things like where you’d like them to live, who they should see, the type of education and extra-curricular activities you’d like them to undertake, and the key values you’d like them to have.

Tip 2: Clearly identify beneficiaries and assets

When writing a will, it’s important to be clear about who your beneficiaries are and which assets you wish to distribute. This will help simplify things when you’re not around and ensure there are no misunderstandings.

  • List all of your assets along with an approximate value.
  • Detail any property you own, bank accounts, investments, personal belongings and any other significant assets.
  • Identify who your assets will go to.
  • Smaller items and specific gifts that have sentimental value can also be recorded in your will.
  • If you jointly own property, the surviving owner will acquire the property automatically, and the joint asset will not form part of your will.
  • If the property is owned as tenants in common, the portion owned by you will be included in your will.
  • It’s worthwhile including the whereabouts of any important documents pertaining to your assets, such as the certificate of title and insurance policies.

Tip 3: Regularly review and update your will

Life changes and so too do your circumstances, so it’s essential you review and update your will from time to time to account for any changes in your family, finances or Australian law.

  • Major life events – such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or buying a significant asset such as a house – should prompt a will review to ensure it’s up to date and accurate, and still reflective of your wishes.
  • Whether you choose to write a will yourself using an online DIY kit or engage the services of a qualified and experienced solicitor or estate planning lawyer, it’s helpful to get professional advice.
  • Not only can a solicitor guide you through the legal requirements, but they can also help you understand the implications of any decisions you make and ensure your will complies with relevant state or territory laws.

Preparing for the future

Writing a will is one of the only ways to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Appointing a guardian, clearly documenting your beneficiaries and assets, and regularly reviewing your will, helps ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

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