Do you need a will?

If a person dies without making a will (known as dying ‘intestate’) the person or people who inherit their property will be determined by provisions in the Succession Act 2006.  Generally this will be the deceased person’s spouse, children or other close relatives.  There are many cases, however, where the intestacy provisions will not suit a family’s needs.

Particular categories of people who should consider preparing a will include:

  1. Single people and childless couples. If you have no spouse or children, your wishes about who inherits your property may be quite different to what is set out in the intestacy provisions.
  2. Parents of young children. Preparing a will enables you to appoint a testamentary guardian to care for your children and a trustee who will manage any inheritance for them.
  3. Separated couples.  Until a divorce is final, a separated spouse is still entitled to inherit if there is no will.
  4. Blended families. A will can take account of an individual family’s needs and is especially important where there are children of prior relationships.
  5. Elderly people who may have particular wishes about sentimental items or several generations of descendants to allocate inheritances amongst.
  6. People with no living relatives. If you do not have any relatives alive to inherit your property, it may go to the state.

If you would like some advice about your own circumstances, contact Althea at Hornsby Wills and Probate.  Ph: 0410 485 277.  Email: althea@hornsbywillsandprobate.com.au