Most Australians already understand the importance of having a will to ensure their property and possessions are properly distributed in the event of their death. More and more are turning to 'will kits' that can be ordered through the post or filled out online. These are perfectly legal, and it's often tempting to use a will kit simply because they cost very little. However, it's definitely worth using a lawyer to draft your will instead.
Here are just four reasons why.
1. Avoids Small but Costly Mistakes
People often underestimate just how easy it is for seemingly minor mistakes to impact the validity of a will. Simply making a mistake on a form or incorrectly describing assets can have significant consequences, especially if the will is contested. Even using language that is slightly ambiguous can present problems. A lawyer will prevent such issues by ensuring your will is free from mistakes and written in clear and unambiguous language.
2. Helps Deal with Taxes
You aren't going to have to worry about death duties in Australia, but that doesn't mean taxes aren't worth considering. The way your will is structured can result in beneficiaries missing out when things like capital gains tax and stamp duty aren't accounted for. By using an experienced lawyer, you can help your beneficiaries avoid paying any unnecessary taxes.
3. Provides Advice on Potential Complications
In some cases, wills can be very straightforward. However, many people fail to account for complications in their circumstances. Things like financial problems and mental health issues should be taken into consideration. Additionally, you need to think about how family relationships might change due to anything from divorce to new children. A will kit cannot help you account for events you may not even have considered, but a lawyer will be able to talk you through such issues and ensure they are accounted for.
4. Identifies Exactly What Is in Your Name
One of the more common issues with will kits is that people often try to distribute assets that are not actually held in their name. In other cases, people will not know something is held in their name and therefore not account for it in their will. This is particularly common among married people who have split various assets over the years. One thing a lawyer can do is correctly identify what is part of your estate to ensure everything is distributed properly.
For more info, contact a local firm like Young and Muggleton.