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Key Insight Into Writing A Will

writing a will in australia

When making a will you want, to ensure yourself the most amount of inheritance. The following guide will give you the best advice in how to write the best will and leave your family feeling satisfied with their inheritance. If you are still confused consider searching writing a will in Australia.

Here’s what you need to know about writing a valid will

1. Make a list of all your valuable assets

These include any real estate you own, bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other investments (such as stocks and bonds). Add up the total value of these assets so that you can determine whether your estate might be subject to federal estate taxes at death. For 2015, the federal estate tax exemption is $5.43 million per person; above that amount, estates pay taxes on a sliding scale starting at 18 percent.

If you have organized this in your lifetime, it will be a straightforward task to accomplish. Typically, if you have a secretary, assistant, or accountant, they would be able to keep track of everything for you. Still, if you don’t have any, you should be taking notes of this in a secret traditional or digital file. You need to know which assets should go to the right person so your family will receive the appropriate inheritance.

2. Choose your executor

This is the person who will be responsible for carrying out the terms of your will and managing your estate after your death. The job can be complex, so it’s best to choose someone who is trustworthy, organized, detail-oriented, and lives nearby. It’s also crucial that you trust this person with your life. There’s no rule stating that beneficiaries can’t be the executor but it would be best to get the services of a professional, especially if you have an enormous amount of assets to divide among the family. 

The role of an executor is very demanding, so putting it on a family member’s shoulder can be daunting.  And considering the situation of your passing, it could be a depressing time for them too. Having a professional who knows how to go through the process of probate is a huge advantage. Their expertise can also help relieve a huge weight off your loved one’s shoulders. 

The role of an executor can include paying debts or bills still owed by the estate, paying inheritance taxes, applying for probate, and valuing and distributing the assets to the rightful people.  Executors’ role can also extend to making practical arrangements for the funeral, and informing creditors, friends, and relatives of your passing.

3. Choose an alternate executor

Things happen, so it’s a good idea to also name an alternate executor in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to fulfill the role. If you have children under 18, you’ll want to name guardians for them in case both parents die at the same time. If you don’t name guardians, a court can appoint someone for you.

Also, Check – What Does An Estate Management Advisor Do?

4. Make a list of your assets and liabilities

Before meeting with an attorney or using a do-it-yourself kit to draft a will, make a list of all of your assets (e.g., bank accounts and investments), liabilities (e.g., credit card debt and mortgage), insurance policies and beneficiaries (e.g., life insurance, 401(k) plan).

5. Be specific about how you want your assets distributed

If there are items of sentimental value that you’d like given, mention the details.

The best way to write a will is to prepare the document yourself, either using a do-it-yourself kit or writing out your wishes by hand. If you have a very simple estate, you may find that either of these methods is all you need. However, if your estate is large or complicated, it’s best to hire an attorney to draft the document so that it’s legal in your state and will hold up in court.

A will is a legal document that controls how you want your property distributed at death. It also names guardians for minor children and details funeral arrangements. If you die without a will, state law controls the distribution of your assets and care of any minor children, so it’s important to make sure the document complies with state laws. Some states require wills to be written on special paper and witnessed by two people who are not named in the document, while others require that they be notarized. Failure to comply with these laws could result in the will being declared invalid by the probate court, which would distribute assets as if there were no will at all.

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