Why haven’t you got a Will yet??!! 

Well I know the ‘answer’ – (or is it the excuses?)

– There is plenty of time

– Don’t know where to start

– Costs too much

– Too busy just now – I’ll do it for sure….

– I don’t have enough assets to worry about it…do I?

In the past 14 days I have asked 5 people – “do they have a Will yet,” and 4 said “no”.

Rather than go into a lecture on why you must have a will – I will cover off a few basic comments and pose some questions –

  1. “I don’t need a Will – I have no assets worth worrying about”. Well, yes, if you have no money, no assets, no children, no parents (who might leave you something), no care about where you are buried, no care about funeral arrangements and no care about who you leave behind – then, no you probably don’t need a Will.
  1. No assets? Maybe you will one day – don’t forget you probably have a superfund account and that might have $250k or more of life insurance in it – plus the balance of your super account.  You may also have an insurance policy on your life also. Plus, your spouse might have the same thing.  So, if they die first – you might get their insurance money and then when you die – there might be $500k to $1m in your estate……desperately needing a Will document to direct it!  Plus, there might be a house in there somewhere.

Don’t forget you might also inherit money or assets in the future from others.

  1. What if you have one or more infant children? What directions are you giving for their future care and protection?  What if you do end up with insurance of $500k or more and don’t leave a Will – are you sure there aren’t any family vultures hanging around who might just challenge things and try to take over the money on the pretext of looking after the children?  (Don’t you watch those movies?!)
  1. Don’t you want to protect your beneficiaries from losing your assets to estranged spouses, or creditors if things go bad financially? What happens if your child has a rough patch in life and goes off the rails for a few years?  If that coincided with an inheritance from you, they will probably blow the lot.
  1. If you have worked hard to earn and grow your assets (or even if you have just been lucky and won the Lotto), surely you want to protect it and make sure it doesn’t get blown up by the taxman, creditors, bad relationships, or dodgy friends of your beneficiaries?
  1. Surely you want your assets to go to the persons you want to get them, at an age when they can handle it and in a way that provides asset protection, security, tax lurks and comfort to you?
  1. I promise you; the pain and problems you will leave behind because you didn’t do a Will would blow your mind – and the costs to deal with the mess (caused by you) in many cases might be 100 times what it would have cost to get one done in the first place!
  1. If you have substantial assets, super, investments in various areas, Family Trusts or Companies then yes, your affairs might be a little complicated and you will need sound advice from a good accountant adviser in preparation before you get your Will done. But for many, that isn’t required and the making of a Will can be straightforward.
  1. So – get to it, get advice and get a Will!  (And while you are thinking about those you leave behind, make sure you have Loss of Income insurance (to replace lost income whilst alive) and life insurance (lump sum on death) to protect your family!)
  1. Please

Peter Cramer