It’s certainly not something we like thinking about – that’s probably why ‘organise will’ has been sitting on our to do list for so long.
But not putting your will together can spell headaches and heartbreak for your loved ones – in what is already a very difficult time – and, although we hate to say it, you never know when you’ll need to have one prepared.
Your family heritage and assets could be lost or forgotten if you don’t have a legally binding document that instructs people what you’d like to have done after you pass.
In 2018, it was reported that 52% of Australians over 18 did not have a will – that’s 10 million people whose most prized possessions could be distributed by their state’s laws, potentially leaving their families with nothing to remember them by or without precious family heirlooms or estates.
“It’s not just financial wealth that needs management – we are the custodians of our cultural heritage and there are important family traditions that need to be protected by a will,” says State Trustees CEO Matt Carrick.
As time consuming as the process seems, Matt says it’s reasonably straightforward to set up a will – and not as arduous or expensive as some may think. Simply purchasing a will kit online or from a local post office could have you well on your way to setting up your will, giving you and your family peace of mind. You may even be able to find a service that helps you register and store your will and power of attorney documents safely, saving the executor of your will the hassle of having to locate it during what is often a difficult time.
Just one in five 25-39-year-olds (Generation Y) have a will, which is concerning given the significant life events that typically happen around this life stage – buying a first home, getting married, having children, accumulating assets and more. In Generation X, 9% admitted they don’t even know whether they have a will or not.
“Nothing is certain but death and taxes, so consider it your duty to prepare a will long before you need one,” says Kate Browne, Personal Finance Expert at finder.com.au. “Your loved ones will always be better off if you do, especially if you have kids under the age of 18 – nominating someone as the guardian of your children is reason alone for getting a will in place.”