Why You Shouldn't Bury Your Head in the Sand When It Comes to Your Will

Many people believe that the formation of a will is a necessary evil. They may not like to think about the consequences of their death and as such, don't like to focus on the detail associated with creating such a document. It's hardly surprising, therefore, that many people who fall into this category go so far as to make a will, but then fail to update it as needed. Why is this dangerous and what should you be doing instead?

Why You Need to Be Logical

If you look at this situation logically, then you should be making a will as soon as you have responsibility for others, or have significant assets that may need to be redistributed. You could arrive at this situation in what is ordinarily considered to be midlife. You shouldn't assume that you're going to live to the average maximum age for Australians though, and therefore should make a will as soon as possible. Logic should then dictate that your circumstances are certain to change as you proceed through the rest of your life and accumulate more assets. Is the will that you created years or even decades ago going to be relevant any more? The chances are that it's not.

Events to Consider

For example, it's possible that you will get married, or conversely go through a divorce. This will require you to review the will that you've already made. Some people like to make a will when they are contemplating a future marriage and put the relevant detail in. This will make it valid when the happy day actually occurs.

Other life events could cause you to change the details in the will. Someone you have named as an executor could pass away and you'll need to appoint somebody else. You may also find that you move from one property to another, buy a holiday home or set up some financial trusts. In each case, you will need to detail these assets and any executors or beneficiaries as these events occur, so that there is no confusion in the event of your passing.

Other Areas to Note

One other thing to bear in mind is that a superannuation fund is not automatically considered as part of a will. Legally, it's a separate entity to the rest of your estate. If you self-manage your own fund as many Australians are opting to do now, you should seek legal advice to help you with its distribution.

Getting Help

If you've got any questions about the validity of your will, or how to account for the distribution of various different assets, have a word with a solicitor specialising in wills.