MAKING A WILL
A recent article in The Australian newspaper highlighted the 10 most common mistakes in making a will, as follows:
1. Failing to make a will in the first place. This results in assets being divided up according to state legislation.
2. Not keeping the will up-to-date. This is particularly important as new children or grandchildren are born; when persons die; or in the event of a marriage breakdown.
3. Failure to understand the impact of marriage and divorce. In some states, marriage may revoke a will, but divorce may not.
4. Do It Yourself wills. The legal costs of mistakes (which are common) can be significant.
5. Not executing the will properly. By not signing, dating or witnessing a will correctly, delays may occur or the will may be deemed to be invalid.
6. Appointing the wrong executor(s). The nominated person should be able to deal with legal matters and family disputes.
7. Appoint the wrong trustee. Family or friends apponted as trustee may often be out of their depth.
8. Poor tax planning. This is usually as a resut of failing to seek professional estate planning advice.
9. Impact of second marriages. This generally effects the children from each marriage, with the beneficiaries often determined by which spouse dies first.
10. Disputes over sentimental items. Any specific items should always be explicitly recorded in the will.
Whilst accountants are not specialists in this field, we can offer guidance or recommendation of a suitable will preparer.