Establishing an authorised will and final testament is one of the most meaningful things a person can do for his or her family, but it’s important to understand exactly why this is so true in today’s day and age:
- A will is a legally-binding document that grants full control over the handling of one’s estate following his or her passing – the drafter of the will gets to decide how all assets, properties, and possessions will be distributed.
- The drafter of the will is the sole decider of who gets to take care of any surviving minors (children) after death.
- Having a will in place speeds up the arduous, time-consuming probate process following the individual’s passing, which is a huge boon for the surviving beneficiaries.
- A valid will allows the surviving beneficiaries to save hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in estate taxes and municipal fees.
- The drafter of a will can always change his or her mind with regard to the specifics and nuances within the document. If the times change, so too can the will.
Essential Facts and Figures
As you can see, drafting a final will and living testament is a fundamental responsibility nowadays, and it increases in terms of its importance when more assets and possessions come into play, but many people continue to avoid this integral obligation:
- Almost one in every two Australians have not established their legally-binding final wishes.
- The laws that govern proceedings following one’s death are extremely archaic and outdated, which means that deserving beneficiaries might be left out of the equation if the deceased individual failed to draft an authorised will before passing away.
- Without a viable will in place, the individual’s assets will be disseminated and allocated according to a predetermined formula set forth by the government.
- Funerals and cremations can cost up to $15,000 in Australia.
Contesting a Will
The final bit of interest with regard to wills is the process of contesting a will in NSW, or wherever you happen to live for that matter.
If you had a tight-knit relationship with an individual prior to his or her death, you may be eligible for compensation and support regardless of whether the deceased person mentioned you in the will, which is why will contestations have risen by over 50% in the past five years or so.
New codifications and changes to the Family Provision Act were passed in 2009, and these alterations allow you to file a will contestation to obtain adequate recompense following the death of someone you relied on in some way, shape, or form. Even if the person failed to establish a will, it’s important to note that deserving individuals can contest the post-mortem proceedings and garner a lucrative settlement in the form of assets, properties, funds, or possessions.
If you find yourself in such a situation, the onus is on you to reach out to a will contestation specialist in your area to help handle the laborious paperwork and protracted legal proceedings.