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    When should you make a will & how much does it cost?

    The timing around the decision to create or amend a Will differs for everyone and depends on personal assessment of risk, changes in personal or family circumstance and more commonly, stage of life and/or size of your estate.

    As most of us are relatively poor in predicting the future with any certainty, the creation of a Will at least ensures that your estate is passed on according to your intentions irrespective of the accuracy of your predictive powers.

    Generally, most young people seldom consider making even a simple will, underestimating the fact that their net wealth is increasing continuously through the accumulation of their superannuation contributions not to mention the death benefit regularly attached to most superannuation schemes.

    The making of a Will can be as simple as purchasing a DIY kit online for $30 to having your will professionally drafted by a solicitor where, depending upon the complexity of your requirements the Will can cost anywhere between $300 to $1,000.

    Making a DIY Will is cheap and may suit your purposes where there is no complexity around the assets to be distributed. However, remember that there can still be pitfalls and traps around the manner in which the document is executed which can lead to it being invalidated.

    If you decide to take the safer route and use a solicitor to draft your Will, there are steps that you can take that will help to reduce the costs associated with making the Will.

    Preparation of the details you wish to include in advance of meeting with your solicitor may include some of the following:

    • Details related to any property you own, including your home and any investment property;
    • Reviewing the method of holding assets – e.g. conversion from sole to joint ownership, or vice versa;
    • The make, model, year and registration details of any vehicle/s you own;
    • Details of all your current bank accounts including account numbers and current statements;
    • Details of any shares, investments and superannuation beneficiary nominees;
    • Consideration of potential capital gains tax liabilities;
    • A list of any personal items that you wish to pass to beneficiaries;
    • Outine of any details relating to your funeral arrangements.

    You should also pre-consider who you intend to nominate as your beneficiaries, the details around your preferences for the distribution of assets, who you are nominating as the executor of your estate and all of the relevant contact details.

    If this article causes you to raise a question about protecting your estate then please contact us and we can discuss how & Legal might assist.

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