Irrespective of our age, very few of us likes to contemplate the prospect of our own death. Consequently, a large proportion of Australians simply don't get around to preparing a Will, nor giving due consideration to the long term impact that this complacency may have on the future for our loved-ones.
Making out a Will is an essential means of giving your family some financial protection on your demise. A Will is also the most reliable way of ensuring that your favourite nephew get's that stamp collection of yours that he's shown so much interested in.
Importantly, your Will can also offer your estate and your beneficiaries
protection from any tax liabilities that you may have - and from any of your
Careful consideration of how your assets are distributed in your Will is the way to minimise tax liabilities.
You can, of course, minimise your beneficiaries' exposure to tax from your
inheritance is to create a trust that will enable you to pass ownership of your assets to the trust while you are still alive with contingency plans on how those assets are do be divided when you die.
An accountant or lawyer can help you understand the potential tax
implications of your particular circumstances and advise you as to the best ways to plan your Will to minimise these liabilities.
In order to protect your estate from debt collectors and credit agencies, you can use your Will to specify exactly how outstanding debt, funeral costs and legal costs ares to be handled on your death.
It's possible to minimise your family's exposure to debt by avoiding having
your credit cards or loans in joint names with your spouse or partner where
If you are not likely to leave much behind in the way of assets, it's not
unusual for creditors to forgive the debt - but this won't be the case if the
debt is in joint names with your partner.
Writing your Will
There are basically two ways that you can make out a Will. You can consult a Lawyer or you can do it yourself.
Whatever way you choose to do it, give some thought to who you might nominate as Executor of your Will.
If you are appointing a family member as Executor, you might also consider
nominating a second, independent executor such as your accountant or lawyer.
Remember, your Will does not need to be too complicated and it will need
updating regularly in order to meet the needs of your changing situation.