Writing a will - not exactly something many of us are particularly keen to do, because in doing so we recognise that at some point we’ll no longer be on this earth. Nonetheless, a will is an important document, and one we should all write. But when is the right time? That is the question that specialist will lawyer Glenn Duker will address here.
Let’s start answering this question by looking at it from the opposite end – what happens if you don’t have a will when you die? Simply put, if you pass away without having written a will you will be considered to have died intestate. This is not to be confused with interstate; it means you’ve ‘crossed over’ and, without appropriate legal documentation, the state appoints an administrator to make the decisions regarding the allocation of your assets through a process that is known as probate. This can be a particularly stressful experience for some families as the outcome might not always be to everyone’s satisfaction.
So…. What age?
To answer the question, there really is no specific age. In Australia, you do need to be over 18 years of age, which is the only real restriction, but after that it comes down to the value of the assets you have and whether you have anyone you particularly want (or don’t want) to leave them to. Obviously as you get older and you accumulate more assets the need for a will is likely to be greater, but a younger person with their own home, a car and a healthy bank balance might also want to get their will sorted just in case something unexpected happens. The presence of a partner or children can factor in this decision as well. Ideally it’s better to have your will written sooner rather than later, especially as you can update it as your life circumstances change.
For more information on wills and probate, like how to appoint an executor or to ensure your will is less likely to be legally challenged, make an appointment with solicitor Glenn Duker today.