Estate planning includes planning for the unexpected during your lifetime by appointing people you trust to make financial and personal decisions for you if you have an accident, become ill or incapacitated, and planning what will happen to your property upon your death.
A Will is essential for every adult with assets (including superannuation). The Will is the document by which the Will-maker appoints a person to administer the estate after they pass away (the Executor), and specifies who will receive the estate (the beneficiaries).
To make a Will a person must be 18 years or older and have legal capacity. There are strict requirements that must be complied with to ensure a document is a valid Will.
In Western Australia, a Will is revoked by marriage and by divorce if the divorce occurs on or after 9th February 2008.
If you pass away without a properly prepared Will, it can be expensive to deal with the legal issues that arise in administering the estate. If you do not have a Will, the estate will pass to family members set out in the legislation and may include one or more of your spouse (including a separated spouse), de facto partner, children, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, whether or not you want those people to benefit.
Wherever your personal or business assets are located, it is important to receive professional advice about your Will to ensure that it accurately reflects your circumstances and that it will benefit your loved ones.
For more information about Wills and Estate Planning please contact our Estate Planning Team: Peter Murray, Elizabeth Heenan and Michaela Speering at Culshaw Miller Lawyers – Email or telephone 08.9488 1300.