Why should I review my Will before Christmas?
You might see this and think ‘why would I want to review my will before Christmas?’
We understand this is a busy time of year – we all have presents to buy, food to prepare, events to plan, holidays to book and then add in the end of year presentations and Christmas parties!
All that being said, we think it is a wise idea to add ‘Appointment to have my Will reviewed’ to your pre-Christmas list.
Having a Will gives clear direction from you about what you want to happen to your property when you die. Having a straight forward, legally valid and up to date Will is the best way to help ensure that your assets are distributed to your loved ones according to your wishes. Despite promising certain family members particular assets such as your house or shares when you die, that doesn’t mean anything if you haven’t formalised it in a Will.
If you pass away without a Will, that is known as dying intestate and your assets would be distributed to certain eligible relatives according to a formula set out by the Succession Act 2006 [NSW]. This distribution becomes complicated if you have a blended family, such as children from a previous marriage or a new partner whilst still being legally married to your ex-spouse. So it is much better for all involved if you have a Will which clearly sets out your intentions taking into account your family structure, rather than unintentionally excluding someone because they are not an eligible person according to the intestate formula.
We also note the importance of having a Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship document which allows someone [or multiple people] you trust to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.
No one plans to have an accident or get sick and subsequently either lose capacity or pass away, but unfortunately these events are out of our control. One of the best things we can do is make sure our affairs are in order so our loved ones have one less thing to think about during what is a very difficult time.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Please stay safe over the holiday period.
Please contact Geraldine Sutton or Deirdre May at Blackwell Short on (02) 6393 9200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to make an appointment to discuss your matter with our Wills and Estate team.