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Dangers of DIY Will kits & Free Will services

Friday, May 18, 2018

 

The importance of having a valid Will

When it comes to drafting your Will, there is a great variety of services to choose from, including using a DIY Will kit, appointing the Public Trustee, and having an expert solicitor draft the document. In choosing which service you use, it is essential to remember the importance of having a valid and clear Will to ensure your wishes are effectively carried out in distributing your estate. If you were to pass away without a valid will, your estate would be subject to the rules of the Succession Act, meaning your wishes may not be carried out. Additionally, any legal costs arising from a challenge to your Will are likely going to be paid from the contents of your estate, therefore diminishing the value of your estate.

 

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DIY Will kits

While DIY kits provide a tempting budget option to draft your Will, you run the risk of creating a will that is invalid, or alternatively is valid but not reflective of your wishes. This is because DIY kits provide a basic template on the assumption that one-size-fits-all, when in reality the complexities of your relationships and family situation should be reflected in your Will. DIY Will kits cannot adequately handle complex situations such as blended families or self-managed super funds, or situations where a beneficiary has a mental disability or is in financial difficulty.  In short you don’t know what you don’t know.

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Public Trustee Wills

Another option for creating your Will is through the use of the Public Trustee, which creates Wills at no immediate cost. If you do choose to use the Public Trustee, then it is compulsory that you appoint the Public Trustee as your executor, meaning they may take commission from your estate upon your death.

 

What Bennett Carroll provides

Our expert Wills and estates lawyers provide a holistic approach to estate planning, giving you the comfort of knowing your Will is not only valid, but importantly will reflect your wishes to the letter. We create personalised wills that deal with your specific family situation, for example a blended family, and can provide for beneficiaries who are disabled or in financial difficulty. By making in-depth enquiries regarding who you would like to include and exclude from your Will, we ensure that each decision is justified within the Will, meaning that the document will be upheld. Additionally, using Bennett Carroll to create your Will allows you to appoint whomever you choose as your executor, giving you peace of mind that someone you trust will administer your estate. We offer this service at a competitive price that is only a fraction of the potential costs of drafting an invalid Will.

 

EPOAs

Similar to creating your Will, it is important that you take care in drafting an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) to ensure your own needs are looked after in the event you lose mental capability. An EPOA is a document which authorises others to make your personal and financial decisions for you for when you are incapable to do so yourself. Without an EPOA, if you lose mental capacity, then your family may have to apply to the government to be
granted this power, which can be a costly and time-consuming process. Bennett Carroll can assist in drafting your EPOA so that you can appoint whomever you choose (including the option of appointing multiple attorneys) for a one-off fee, giving you the comfort of knowing that should you ever require an EPOA, then your needs will be catered for by those you trust.

 

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If you need advice on a new or existing will or EPOA  please contact us today!

 

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