For many of us, thinking about a Will is the last thing on our minds. Not only does it remind us of our own mortality, but can seem tedious and time consuming. However, it seems that we receive an influx of requests to prepare Wills prior to clients going on their travels (holiday vacation or work travels), after getting married or buying a new home and rightly so. Ideally, a Will needs to be updated every time there is a significant change in your personal circumstance.
So, what is a Will?
Simply put, a Will is a legal document that outlines how you want your possessions and assets (Estate) to be distributed when you die. The distributions can be practical (providing assets/income for your spouse or children) and also sentimental (leave a specific item, e.g. family heirloom to a relative). Having a Will in place limits potential disputes arising from surviving family members. You can appoint anyone to be your Executor (the person who will follow your instructions under the Will) and distribute your Estate on behalf to your nominated Beneficiaries (person[s] under your Will that will receive a benefit from your estate).
A Testamentary (Trust) Will “Trust Will” is a trust that is created upon the event of your death. It acts exactly like a trust and offers the same benefits such as asset protection and tax minimization. And whilst it cost more to create compared to an ordinary Will, if you have a sizable Estate, it is well worthwhile in discussing with your Solicitor in further detail in terms of how a Trust Will can greatly benefit and protect your Estate and the beneficiaries under your Trust Will.
Summary: Everyone should have a Will, whether or not you have a sizable estate or not. However, should your estate be considerable in size, or should your Will contain specific instructions regarding the distribution of assets, you should strongly consider obtaining a Will which includes a testamentary trust as it may act as a more suitable instrument to carry out your dying wishes.
This advice is not specific and we advise that you seek legal assistance from a lawyer to choose what is right for your personal circumstance. If you require a normal Will, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Will Questionnaire. However, if you are unsure, please feel free to call us on 03 5367 3100 to discuss how a Trust Will could greatly benefit you.