Five More Myths About Wills And Estates

Blog post by Michaela Speering and Sarah Nicholls

factmyths2My estate will be really simple to complete – there won’t be any fights.

If that is the case, then preparing your Will should also be simple and need not be expensive.

If you have a blended family, step children, family members with disabilities, alcohol or drug issues, warring children or complex relationships, then you need advice about the best way to proceed. Otherwise you risk your estate being the subject of a dispute which may end up in Court.

I did my Will years ago – once is enough.

Have you married or divorced since your last Will? Marriage and divorce now revoke a Will in Western Australia (if the divorce occurred on or after 9 February 2008). If you are separated and thinking about changing your Will, you should seek advice.

Have you had more children since your last Will? Do you have grandchildren?

If your circumstances have changed you should update your Will. It is much easier to do this with electronic copies of previous Wills on our file system.

Do you still own the assets you have included in your Will? You may not need to update your Will every time you buy or sell a house, or change banks, however, if you have made specific gifts to certain beneficiaries and your circumstances change (or the beneficiary’s circumstances change) you need to review your Will.

Anyone can challenge a Will – it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

Certain categories of people can contest a Will in Western Australia. You can minimise the risk of a claim being made if you receive advice about the distribution of your estate. Having no Will or a badly written Will is likely to increase the risk of a contested estate.

I don’t have time to think about this now – I can always do it later.

Accidents happen. People pass away unexpectedly. If you take the time to have your affairs in order now, you can have peace of mind. All you need to do after the initial process is review your Will if circumstances change.

I can do my own Will using the Post Office forms / an internet form.

Do you do your own dental work? A Will is an extremely important legal document. Home-made Wills cause their own problems. There are specific rules for signing and witnessing Wills. The correct language must be used to ensure that all of your assets are distributed in the way you want.

Contact Michaela Speering for more information about Wills & Estate Planning.