Like most people do when they find themselves with a spare 5 minutes, I was scrolling through my social media feed recently and I came across some marketing material for ABC’s upcoming show Fisk. Now I’m in no way part of the Fisk marketing team, but for context, the show will revolve around a Law Firm which practices in Wills and Estates.
The video in question showed some snippets from the show along with asking the cast if they had a Will in real life. Of the six Cast members that were asked, only one confirmed that they had a Will.
The others said things like “it’s kind of a complicated process”, “I probably should” and “I’m too busy living”.
It got me thinking that this is probably the general thinking when it comes to Wills.
So in attempt to dispel the notion that getting a Will prepared is horribly complicated and time consuming, I thought I’d break down the general process.
The first step in this process is sitting down with a Solicitor to give instructions. In this appointment, the Solicitor will ask questions with respect to your assets, liabilities and family members. This is an important part of the process so that we can give you appropriate advice with respect to how your assets will transfer and if there is a possibility of future claims against, and any risks for your estate.
There will also be a discussion about Executor/s and Executrix/Executrices, they are the people who will manage your estate. The Solicitor will discuss with you the role, practicalities and importance of nominating an appropriate person/s.
Its then time to discuss and for you to advise who you want to be the beneficiaries of your Estate. You can nominate specific gifts, break the estate into parts or elect to deal with your Estate as a whole.
If required, the other important thing that you will do is appoint a guardian for any minor children.
You may also wish to include funeral wishes in your Will.
Any other additional items, concerns or questions will also be addressed at this initial appointment.
Once the Solicitor has your instructions, they will prepare the document for you. They will provide you with a draft version for review. Once you are satisfied with the document, then a follow up appointment with the Solicitor is made to execute the document.
At the appointment to sign the document, you will be asked questions about your wishes and intentions. The Solicitor will take you through the document explaining the effect and if the Solicitor is satisfied you understand the document, and you confirm that the document is an accurate representation of your wishes, then you can sign your Will.
Now, if you have extensive assets or complicated affairs such as trusts, Self-managed Super funds and companies then some further enquiries and collaboration with other professionals, such as accountants, may be required. This can mean the process is a bit more complicated.
It is important to remember that Wills are not a one size fits all situation, and it is important to get the right advice with respect to your Estate. It is also important to regularly review your Will as people’s circumstances can change regularly.
If, like most of the cast of Fisk, you are in need of a Will, contact Everingham Solomons because Helping You is Our Business.
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