More than fifty percent of the adult population in Australia, do not have a valid Will. But what are some of the reasons why Australians, like many other people around the world, put off taking the time to draft a valid Will and other protective documents.
Here are the top 7 reasons why people, in general, put of completing drafting a Will and the solution to each pending and valid concern.
Over the course of their adult life, most people have thought about making a Will. Intellectually, if you ask the average person if they know they should have a Will, they will say yes. However, it is very easy to simply tell yourself that you will get around to it and then never take the necessary steps to see through this very good intention.
Solution: If you are aware that it is important for you to draft a Will then make an appointment with a solicitor. Initially, there is nothing more you need to do. Simply set up a consult and attend with the purpose of gathering information about the process. Once you take this first step, the others will follow easily.
2) It Takes Too Much Time
Many people believe it will take an inordinate amount of time to draft a Will. However, this is not so.
Solution: This is a very common misconception. Drafting a Will is an act that will only take about 5 hours of your time. You will have to invest an initial hour to meet with a solicitor to learn about the various types of information you will have to gather and get a list of the decisions you will need to make. It will then take the average person about 3 hours to gather the necessary asset information and some additional time to make decisions regarding distribution. Once you relay the information to a solicitor, it will only take one or two more appointments to go over the drafted Will and make any small changes you might need to. The total expended time will only be between 5-7 hours of your life.
3) It’s Too Complicated
It is quite likely that everyone has said this to themselves at one time of another. “Drafting a Will is complicated. I have no idea where to start and I do not want to make a mistake.”
Solution: If you feel drafting a Will is too complicated you are not alone. Most people feel the same way. However, the steps to drafting a Will are quite simple. The basic information you need includes; the value of your assets both personal and real property, a list of these assets and their respective values, and a determination as to the way in which you would like your assets to be distributed to your loved ones. Once you have gathered this information and made these decisions, the only three steps left are to put your wishes in writing, have your Will witnessed and sign the document.
4) It’s Too Expensive
This is one of the most common excuses used to put off drafting a Will. However, this is not even a remotely viable reason for not taking care of this very important step in your life.
Solution: Most solicitors have a set fee for drafting a Will and any accompanying documents. And, if you inquire in advance, they will easily be able to provide you with this information. If you feel that you cannot afford their assistance, you can still protect yourself and your family by doing a small amount of research, finding a general formatted Will and making some very basic decisions that can still protect your family.
5) It doesn’t matter because all of my assets will go to my spouse, partner, children or parents?
This is incorrect. Many people labor under the misconception that the value of their estate will simply pass to those that it makes logical sense to receive it. But this is not necessarily so. If you have a spouse or partner, the law does not automatically give the value of your estate only to this person. But, instead, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy. Therefor there may be more persons legally allowed to receive value from your estate than you expect. Hence, your spouse or partner might not be as well left off as you imagined.
6) I don’t have anything of any value
Usually it is younger people who feel this way including single people and newly married couples. But, this is not true because once you start making a list of those things in your life that have real property or personal value, you will be surprised to find that you have an estate worth distributing.
Solution: Take about an hour of your time to list the following items; any real property you own including an apartment/condominium or a timeshare in real property, your vehicle, your bank accounts including checking and savings, retirement monies, and personal property. Suddenly, you will see that you do have an estate worth distributing according to your own wishes.
7) I don’t want to think about death
Undoubtedly, it is hard to argue with this thought. No one wants to consider death or to come to the stark realization that it will happen to them, especially when we are on the younger side of our lives.
Solution: There is a better reason for drafting a Will than death. Drafting a Will is about peace of mind for yourself and the protection of those you love, particularly if you have a spouse or young children. To truly take the best care you can of your family, you need to make the decisions that are necessary to keep their lives and lifestyle intact, in the event that you are not there to provide for them. This is the most generous decision you could ever make. By taking the time to think about and secure their future, you will leave them with the legacy of knowing how much you loved them.
If you find yourself in need of assistance with this, or any other legal issue, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.