When you care about your family you want to make sure that you leave them with peace of mind when you die. Being parent also does not stop when you die – a valid will means that you can care for your children. If you have young children you may also use your will to nominate someone to be their guardian.
1. Problems with signing and witnessing Even though will kits usually contain detailed instructions about how a will needs to be executed it is not unusual for these instructions to be overlooked or misinterpreted which can create real difficulties for the family after the person has died.
2. Problems with identifying who gets what – It should be possible for someone who knows nothing about the will maker’s circumstance to understand exactly what is meant. For example, someone drafting their own will may say ‘I give XX to my family’ thinking that it is obvious exactly which people are meant and who should receive what. In fact, of course, it is not at all obvious. A solicitor drafting a will uses language carefully to ensure that the meaning is clear and unambiguous.
3. Problems with failing to give away everything – One problem with home-made wills is that not all of the will maker’s property is effectively dealt with in the Will. One example that can arise from a home-made will is where the will maker gives away specific assets, such as a house and a bank account, but does not say who is to receive anything else they may own. A will prepared by a solicitor will include a residuary clause to ensure that there is no intestacy, and will reflect your instructions about who is to benefit if any of your intended beneficiaries dies before you.
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At Aquarius Lawyers we understand that people worry about the cost of engaging a lawyer that is why we have set pricing for our legal work. We have developed “Peace of Legal Packages” – to allow you to choice the level of protection for your family dependent on your circumstances. Our packages provide varying levels of protection, suited to your unique needs.
4. Problem with one size fits all Just as you can, if you so choose, re-wire your own home, service your own car or pull your own teeth, it is open to you to make your own will. The real difference with making your own will is that if there is a problem it is not likely to be discovered until after your death when it will be too late for you to do anything to fix the problem. The result is likely to involve additional legal expense – often many times more than the cost of making a will with a solicitor in the first place. As well as additional expenses your family is faced with delay and uncertainty as to how your assets will be distributed.
5. Problem with not protecting the vulnerable child A solicitor will be able to provide advice and draft a trust to protect the assets left to any child who qualifies under the Special Disability Trust provisions. If you are a parent with a disabled child this is a must. A solicitor can also provide you with advice about how to deal with assets that may not pass under your will, such as jointly held property, superannuation and assets that are held by companies or in family trusts.