Today, The Day of the Dead, we wanted to highlight a subject that is not often talked about.
Getting your Will organised.
Death is a Natural course of Life, and although we’re not generally planning our deaths, sometimes it happens well before it is time.
There are 5 main reasons to get a Will sorted out and they are:
1. Appoint Guardian of your kids
2. Protect your Business
3. Choose who gets your assets
4. Minimise Estate Tax
5. Make a difficult time, less difficult.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that clearly outlines your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death.
Having a clear, legally valid and up-to-date Will is the best way to help ensure that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes.
Appoint the Guardian of your kids
What would happen to your kids if you died? Who do you want to look after them – your partner, your family, a particular friend?
If you have a partner, and the ultimate worst case happens – they die in the same accident. Your kids are left behind without a parent. Who do you want to look after your kids?
These are important considerations to have when you have kids, and a Will outlines your wishes for your childrens’ best interests to be enacted.
Protect your business
If you are in business, and have a business partner, leaving your part of the business to them might be important to you so that the business can continue to operate in your absence. Otherwise, the business might be left to your spouse.
Putting these requests into place is important understanding to be had. Discussing these with your business partner is also important.
Choose who gets your assets
Upon your death, your assets include your financial wealth, life insurance policies and physical assets. You might want to leave your assets to a not for profit, your spouse and family, your extended family.
There may even be family heirlooms that you want to leave to particular individuals. The Will outlines how these assets are distributed.
Minimise Estate Tax
Estate tax is a thing. Without a Will, your assets may be distributed to one or two individuals who then will be subject to Estate Tax which is essentially a tax on gifts over $20,000.
Sometimes, if your assets have to be sold (eg property) Capital Gains Tax may also be payable on your final tax return, or if they are transferred to another person (eg a car) State Stamp Duty may apply.
Leaving your assets to your spouse will become an exemption to Estate Tax, but when the spouse dies, the tax will be payable on the assets gifted to them then.
For more information – get in touch with us, and we’ll help you figure out potential tax consequences of a Will before it is made.
To make a difficult time less difficult
All estates go through a process called a probate. This process finalises tax returns, distributes assets and pays any outstanding debt. Having a Will generally will reduce the time for the probate process because the distribution of assets have already been decided by you and written down in a legal document.
How to get a Will
Although you can do a Will yourself via standard will from the Post Office, we are talking about your whole life’s assets and your kids.
Go see a reputable solicitor who is an expert in this field.
Generally speaking, a Will costs around $500-$1,000 depending upon the complexity – this is a small investment to safeguard your assets for the future.
As always – if this was helpful to you or a friend you know, please share on Social Media with the links below.
In the meantime, Happy Halloween and have a great week!