August 15, 2018 Steve Wildes

DIY Will Kits And Their Dangers

Steve Wildes

Steve Wildes

Partner
Steve Wildes has years of small business tax experience and is adept with Estate Planning matters, bringing a practical approach to dealing with family wealth protection and succession.

You want to prepare a will using a will kit.

Does it matter?

It’ll work, right?

Why pay for one to be professionally prepared?

My assets and structure is simple. In fact, maybe I can even do it while watching TV!

 

The truth is that will kit or home-made wills often create problems. Anecdotal evidence suggests that when such wills are taken to get probate, which is where the Court approves (stamps) a will that is usually needed when someone passes away, about 70% of them run into a problem. Sometimes this is small, yet other times it results in lengthy disputes. Either way, it costs a LOT more than doing the will properly in the first place.

 

Below is a list of issues that often arise due to the use of a DIY Will Kit:

 

  • The laws around how a will is to be signed are very specific and failure to adhere to them causes delays at best after death, invalidity of the will at worst. For example, some people can and should sign, whereas some people specifically cannot/should not! You may need to use a red pen, black pen, or maybe each signatory uses a different colour, or signs at a different date.
  • Many people naturally assume that superannuation automatically forms part of a will, which is wrong. At best, this leads to unnecessary delay, but it can also often lead to unequal distributions between the people you intended to benefit equally. In the event of a will challenge, it can also mean your super is at risk when it doesn’t need to be. Have you stopped to consider who you have nominated as a beneficiary of your super? What about that million dollar life insurance policy you hadn’t considered?
  • It is common to see will kits that list everything a person believes they own, but leave no instructions for what is to happen to the forgotten ‘left overs‘. Those assets are then distributed by rules set out by the Government, not how you desire it to be distributed. The Government also gets to take control when the will hasn’t been worded correctly.
  • Joint assets do not form part of a will and special care needs to be taken to ensure they pass as you intend, especially considering spouses often re-partner which can ultimately push your assets to a completely separate family group.
  • Many people start a will kit and then find it all a bit ‘too hard‘. Then it sits in the drawer half done, which can cause even greater problems if potential beneficiaries try to argue that your distribution intentions have changed.

 

Estate Planning is essential and Paris Financial can provide you with a will that is prepared complying with the law so that your assets go to those you intended. The added benefit is, of course, that we ensure your estate is set up to be as tax effective as possible so that your loved ones pay no more tax than necessary. If you have any questions or would like to arrange a will, please contact Seve Wildes at Paris Financial on 03 8393 1000.

Steve Wildes

Steve Wildes

Partner
Steve Wildes has years of small business tax experience and is adept with Estate Planning matters, bringing a practical approach to dealing with family wealth protection and succession.

Thank you for providing your email address. You’re now connected with our Small Business Tax Champions.

Do you want insight into the latest tax news and cutting-edge financial advice?

*Required field