When it comes to planning for the future, one of the most crucial steps you can take is creating a last will and testament. This legal document ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death, and it can provide peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.
However, creating a last will and testament in Australia involves more than simply jotting down your wishes on a piece of paper. There are certain legal requirements that must be followed to ensure that your will is considered valid, and it’s essential to regularly review and update your will to reflect changes in your life circumstances.
What is a last will and testament?
A last will and testament is a legal document that outlines a person’s wishes for the distribution of their assets after they pass away. It is a critical document that allows a person to make their final wishes known and ensures that their estate is distributed according to their wishes.
In Australia, a last will and testament is a legal document that must be prepared and executed in a particular way to be valid. The document must be in writing and signed by the person creating it, who is known as the testator. The testator must also sign the document in the presence of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the will.
Hiring a solicitor proficient in estate planning and drafting a will is important, as they will educate you and your loved ones of your rights under state and territorial law. While you have the freedom to seek out a private law practice for this, your state or territory can render legal assistance as well for seniors who have financial problems that can affect legal action, in the case of Queensland the Public Trustee is the way to go.
The importance of creating a last will and testament
Creating a last will and testament is an essential part of planning for the future, especially for seniors. There are several reasons why it is imperative to draft this document:
- Ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes. A last will and testament ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. This document allows you to choose who will inherit your assets, including property, money, and personal belongings.
- Provides for your loved ones. A last will and testament allows you to provide for your loved ones after you pass away. This document can include provisions for the care of minor children, elderly relatives, or disabled family members.
- Reduces the risk of family disputes. A last will and testament can reduce the risk of family disputes over the distribution of assets. By clearly outlining your wishes, you can minimise the potential for disagreements among family members, but drafting that document must be carefully made to account for changes in family dynamics.
- Allows you to choose an executor. A last will and testament allows you to choose an executor to manage your estate after you pass away. This person will be responsible for ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that all debts and taxes are paid.
Updating your last will and testament
It is essential to update your last will and testament regularly, especially if your circumstances change. Changes in your family situation, such as the birth of a child, marriage, divorce, or the death of a loved one, can affect the distribution of your assets. Updates are essential in light of Australia’s recognition of de facto relationships – including same-sex couples – as an added element in posthumous providing for loved ones.
It is also essential to review your last will and testament regularly to ensure that it reflects your current wishes. If you have not updated your will in many years, it may be necessary to create a new document to ensure that it accurately reflects your wishes.
Probate in Australia
Probate is the legal process of administering a person’s estate after they pass away. In Australia, probate is generally required when the deceased person’s assets exceed a certain threshold. The threshold varies between states and territories, but it is typically around $50,000.
The executor named in the last will and testament is responsible for applying for probate. Once probate is granted, the executor can distribute the assets according to the deceased person’s wishes.
The ASAG Reverse Mortgage
Creating a last will and testament is an essential part of planning for the future, especially for seniors. It allows you to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are provided for after you pass away.
ASAG’s Reverse Mortgage can be a valuable component of your Retirement Plan, assisting you in managing associated expenses. To gain further insight into our reverse mortgage program and its workings, please feel free to reach out to the ASAG team.
You can contact us at 1300 002 724 or by sending an email to email@example.com to make inquiries about our equity release solutions. Furthermore, we offer a free tool below that you can use to determine the equity available in your home and start the application process.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace or supersede official legal advice. Please consult your solicitor for additional information.