Your last will and testament is the essential tool in the administration of your estate after you die. Your last will and testament determines how your assets are to be realised, divided and distributed. It allows you make provision for family and loved ones. A comprehensive, clear and well-drafted will means that your estate can be sorted out with the minimum amount of stress to family and loved ones at that difficult time.
Why should I have a Last Will and Testament?
If you do not have a last will and testament when you die, the law considers you to have died intestate. This means that your estate will be wound up according to the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act and not according to your wishes. The intestate process can be lengthy, expensive and very difficult for family members. It may also result in portions of your estate going undesirable people or even the State.
There is simply no debate – everyone needs a will
What should be in your Will?
At a bare minimum, your last will and testament should identify:
- Who you would like to be your beneficiaries;
- How the assets are to be distributed among those beneficiaries;
- Identify an executor for the will and;
- If you have minor children then it must identify a guardian for those children.
Currently, wills can only be drafted by a practising attorney and attorneys are the best-placed people to understand and interpret your wishes.
Actions you can take:
- Ensure your estate is dealt with correctly after you die by asking us to draft you a great last will and testament, which includes your digital life.
- Make sure everyone understands your will by converting it to plain language.
We like to encourage a friendlier society so we’d like to draw your attention to the fact that every year the Law Society organises National Wills Week where you can have a basic will drafted for free by participating law firms.