Why You Need A Will At Any Age
Have you taken the time to secure the future of your assets? If not, it may be time to think about why you need a will at any age.
By definition, a will is classed as a crucial legal document that outlines your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets, property and dependents should anything happen that incapacitates you. If you don’t have one, there’s no way to guarantee what happens next in regards to settling your affairs.
There’s a common misconception that wills are for the rich and famous, or those approaching the later stages of their life. The simple reality is that once you start investing your hard earned cash – even if it’s just a car – then a will is necessary if you want to have a say in who gets what when you die, especially if you have dependents like a partner or children. So why do you need a will, and what should they specifically outline?
What Does A Will Cover
While there is no particular age at which people need to have a will, anyone over the age of 18 can action one. If you don’t yet have a will in place, it’s important to know what they actually cover – and what you should make sure is included.
Appoint An Executor – Your executor should be someone you trust who is capable of dealing with complex legal and financial financial matters, and liaise with industry professionals like lawyers and accountants. Despite popular opinion, an executor can also be a beneficiary.
Funeral And Burial Wishes – You should advise in your will whether you wish to be buried or cremated, along with any specifics regarding your end of life celebration. If not, it will be left to your friends and family to decide on what you would have preferred.
Guardians Of Dependents – The ongoing care of any existing children is a hugely important aspect of your will, particularly if you are a single parent. What qualifies as “dependents” varies from one person to another though, as this can also include pets.
Trust Structures – If you have extensive assets or property, then it might be worth considering a trust set up for any minors that you wish to provide for. These can get tricky and need to be set up properly though, so you may wish to consult with a solicitor first.
Asset Divisions – If you don’t have a clear document outlining who you intend on leaving your property or assets to, this is where family disputes can get particularly messy after a death or passing. Avoid the stress, and get your financial ducks in a row.
Sentimental Items – A will is about far more than the “big” things. If you have family heirlooms or particularly sentimental items such as jewellery, ensure that they aren’t forgotten about in the legal document to ensure that they end up in the right hands.
Donations – Not everybody is in the position to leave a charitable donation to a cause close to their heart, however if you intend on doing so – it needs to be documented appropriately. Some people prefer to include a donation as a part of their “legacy”.
What Happens If You Don’t Have A Will
New research shows that only 48% of Australian adults have an active will in place. Of that 48% – 4% don’t actually want a will, but an alarming 14% don’t believe that they have enough assets to warrant one.
If you don’t have an active will in place when you pass away in Australia, then control over your estate reverts to the Public Trustee under state intestacy laws. The laws provide a formula to determine which family members receive what share of your estate, with little to no wriggle room for negotiation. Each state and territory of Australia have different rules about what is classed as a person’s next of kin, and what portion of your estate they will inherit.
The only way to retain control over the distribution of your estate and to avoid being classed as “dying intestate” is – you guessed it – having an active and valid will in place.
Where To Source Help With The Future Of Your Finances
Since its inception in 2012, Madd Loans has helped over 1700 ordinary Australians obtain the finance they needed in order to get their dreams rolling.
With the entire business built on referrals, the team at Madd have taken the mortgage broking industry by storm. Their overwhelmingly positive feedback has helped them to take out numerous industry awards, including the title of “Queemsland’s Broker Of The Year” for four consecutive years.
After working with a wealth of clients in regards to their mortgage options, it made sense for the team at Madd to have the capacity to offer a full financial planning service. Thus, in late 2019 – Madd Life was born.
If you’re familiar with the Madd Loans brand, then it’s fair to say that you know the team’s captain George Samios. Relentless in his pursuit of gold quality customer service, George quickly spotted another way to best steer his clients towards their financial goals.
“I’ve been in this industry now for ten years, and I really believe in the power of financial planning. If you don’t have an organised plan to achieve your financial dreams – they’ll never happen. What Madd Life essentially does is we aim to pull the goals out of your brain, and transform them into a road map.”
If thinking about your financial future strikes a chord with you, then it might be time to speak to a professional. Whether you’re chasing mortgage solutions or a financial fairy godmother, the team at Madd work together as a collective to turn your goals into reality.