Problem arising from a Will or lack of a Will?
Have you got an up to date Will? If you are like many Australians you don't!
Failing to make time to make your will is one of the most common (and easily avoided) mistakes that Australians make regarding their property and affairs.
If you don't have a valid Will then your property will potentially be subject to the intestacy provisions of the Succession Act NSW.
Unless every item of your property is owned jointly with another person where there is some other law providing for transfer of title you need a Will. It is unlikely that most people will fit into this latter category of case.
If you die without a Will AND you have some property that is NOT legally subject to some independent transfer of title principle (such as survivorship regarding Real Property (ie land)) the Succession Act NSW comes into action.
The Succession Act provides a specific formula for how your property will be dispersed to other persons when there is no will.
This formula may see someone receive your property that you would rather have gone to someone else! Perhaps you have already even promised it to someone. For this reason you should ensure that you have a valid Will. In some circumstances, if no other persons can be located that fit into the set groups of people specified by the legislation, the NSW Government will receive your property!
A second mistake that is commonly made is that of not regularly updating your Will. You will regularly alter your property interests as you journey though your life and as such you should review your Will regularly to ensure that your Will meets your present circumstances.
If you have left an item of property to relative or friend that is not part of your estate property when you die, depending upon how you have drafted your will, the executor may be required to go out and obtain such an item in order to meet the gift set out in your Will!
This may result in other assets having to be disposed of in order to meet the specific gift which may not have been your intention. Likewise, if you have paid off a large debt you may wish to restructure the manner in which you have provided for loved ones.
For this reason you should not only make a Will but keep it up to date. As a rule you should review your Will once a year to ensure that it still meets your present circumstances.
Most people who have accumulated property over their lifetime will need to make a Will in order to properly finalise who is to take possession of that property.
If you wish to discuss your personal situation regarding what will happen to your property when you die as well as the implications of your wishes please contact us to arrange an appointment time to chat about your matter. We can be contacted on between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 02 95 22 7328
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