If you die without making a Will (‘intestate’), your assets, including your personal belongings, will be distributed according to law. This could mean that the people you most want to benefit from your estate might not get anything at all. Also, it may take longer and cost more to administer your Estate.
Reasons for having a Will include:
- Secure children’s future – If your children are under the age of 18 years, you can choose to nominate guardians for them in your Will and make arrangements for their maintenance and education.
- Marriage – It is not commonly known that marriage automatically cancels all previous Wills.
- Divorce – Due to legislative changes, a Will is revoked if the marriage ended on or after 9 February 2008, except where (A) a contrary intention appears in the Will or (B) there is other evidence establishing such an intention.
- De facto relationships – If you die without a Will your de facto partner may not automatically be entitled to your estate.
- Early distribution of estate – A professionally drawn and executed Will greatly assists the cost-efficient administration of your estate and the early distribution of your assets to the beneficiaries named in your Will.
- Decide who benefits – If you die intestate, that is without leaving a Will, your estate is divided according to the law and you will have no say in how your estate is distributed.
- Choose your executor – When you make a Will, you appoint an executor who is responsible for looking after your estate and distributing your assets according to the instructions contained in your Will.