You have no will. Do you need to get a will done? Or wait until you have some money?
A good question, and one I get asked all the time …
Most people don’t like doing wills. Very simply, it’s because they have to think about death. And a lot of people don’t like doing that. The fear of death is one of the biggest fears we have as human beings. Death scares the crap out of many of us.
So we either avoid doing a will, or we do it on the cheap. And don’t end up with a proper result.
So should you get a Will done?
In my view, yes. Unless have absolutely no money at all, or don’t care one little bit what happens after you die, and you have nobody who you care about or depends on you, then you need to get a will done.
In fact, too often, the biggest problems that lawyers have to solve are poorly planned estates.
Let’s take two case studies.
CASE STUDY 1
This involves one of the saddest stories I saw. A 65 woman who came to see me. Her husband had died, leaving only one asset, being the family home. It was owned in his name, and it was debt-free. They had no children. But he had never done a will. I was the bearer of bad news, telling her that she wouldn’t get the home outright. 25% of the house had to go to his two brothers, whom her husband had not spoken to for 25 years. Because she was a pensioner and couldn’t get a loan, she had to sell the house.
CASE STUDY 2
Let’s take a hypothetical. Assume that Sandra and Eric have 3 children. Sandra dies without a will, leaving Eric with the 3 children. They don’t have a lot of assets, only $50,000 in cash, in Sandra’s name, and they rent their house. Shortly after, Eric gets very sick, and he wants to use all of his cash to pay for his treatment. He cannot use all the cash, because under the law, some of Sandra’s assets (the cash) goes to Eric, and some have to be held in trust for the children.
So the consequences are awful for not getting a proper will.
Will it cost much?
That depends. If you get a 3 generational testamentary trust will or a will with a lawyer who specializes in estate planning, you’ll be looking at $1,500 up to $5,000.
But there are cheaper options.
You can go to the Post Office Office and pay $25 or so for a DIY will kit. Although it isn’t the greatest will on the planet, at least it’s better than no will at all.
Or you can go to a lawyer and get what is called a simple will. This costs between $200 to $1,000 as a rule, depending on the lawyer (it can be more if it gets too complex). These are very basic, and they’re not going to shake or turn the world upside down. But the right people should end up with your assets (now that said, simple will don’t protect against will challenge, so if that is a risk or concern of yours, you need to look at3 generational testamentary trust wills. Click here for more information on 3 generational testamentary trust wills.)
But you get what you pay for. And I know I’m saying the obvious, but cheap isn’t always the best. Buying a cheap car can cost more in repairs in the long term. Or cheap clothes can fade in less than a month (as I found out in Bali years ago!).
What do I do if I want more information?
You can contact your local lawyer. Or you can speak to us at Wealth Safe.
At Wealth Safe, we’re here to help you with all your asset protection, tax planning, business structuring, and superannuation needs. We work with you to find the best strategy to keep your assets safe, slash your tax 100% legally, and put more money in your pocket.
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