A Will is a formal legal document that lets you:
- appoint an executor to administer your estate;
- nominate beneficiaries to inherit your estate;
- make provision for beneficiaries with special needs;
- consider tax effective options for the transfer of wealth;
- establish a testamentary trust; and
- leave directions regarding the appointment of guardians for young children, funeral arrangements and organ donation.
If you do not make a will your estate will be distributed according to fairly rigid intestacy rules. Your assets may not be distributed in accordance with your wishes.
Why do I need a will?
The only surefire way to ensure that your spouse, partner or relative, etc. inherits what you intend to do is to make a will. If you die without having made a will, the rules of intestacy will apply in an arbitrary way, especially if there are no children.This could result in your spouse sharing your wealth with relatives (e.g. brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles) musts that you may never have intended to benefit from.
You may need these documents to make a will:
- current will (if you have one);
- birth certificate;
- marriage certificate;
- divorce papers;
- binding financial agreement;
- photo ID (e.g. drivers licence, passport);
- the full name and address for you and anyone mentioned in the will (executors, beneficiaries etc);
- a list of your assets and liabilities.