What To Consider When Planning Your Will
Many people will be familiar with the purpose of a Will. Wills are legal documents that help to protect your assets when you die and ensure that those people or causes that you care about the most, benefit from the distribution of your estate.
Almost everyone has a responsibility to someone, be it their spouse, their children, grandchildren, friends, and sometimes even the RSPCA. With a Wills and Estates Lawyer Brisbane residents are able to nominate specific people to be responsible for the administration of their estate when they’re no longer with us. The administrator’s responsibility is to ensure that your estate is allocated to your wishes and that the contents are correctly distributed amongst those that you wish to inherit your money, property, or other belongings. In legal terms the administrator is known as an executor. They essentially stand in your shoes and take your viewpoint on decisions, as your representative to the legal establishment and therefore regularly fulfil an extremely important role in proceedings.
The basis of the Will itself is to detail what and how much goes to whom and where. Its purpose it to ensure that adequate provision is made for family members and friends following on the event of the death of the Will owner. When a person dies and they haven’t made a Will, either through sudden illness or an accident at an unexpected or early age, this can create difficulties way beyond the comprehension of most people. For example, the Government taxation on a deceased estate is larger when the estate has not been planned for in a Will. You may have heard of Inheritance Tax but never really understood what it is. Whilst Australia hasn’t had an estate or death-tax for many years now, there are still other taxes and rules that can be levied upon a person who inherits from you, dependent upon what they do with the things they inherit. Needless to say, it is a complex legal area with many rules and pitfalls, and the best advice we can give is to speak to a Wills and Estates specialist.
Even when a Will has been made, all too often the contents of the Will are disputed by individuals that have been left out, when they had in-fact expected to be one of its beneficiaries. This could be a former partner, or a stepchild or anyone really, but typically it’s a person who feels that it’s their right to dispute the decision.
Other common dispute scenarios include claims by benefactors that they have not received as much as they thought they were due to receive. This can lead to claims that the Will might not have been properly executed and is therefore invalid. Even executors have been known to be queried by people named in the Will who think that they haven’t been allocated the full extent of their entitlement. In the above described scenario, it is actually possible to have an executor removed when conclusive evidence is raised that they have not been acting in the best interests of the person who made the Will.
A reputable Wills and Estates lawyer is of course able to make sense of all of these scenarios so it’s advisable, if you’re looking for a good one, to choose someone with a good, and longstanding reputation.