Ten objections to Estate Planning and how to overcome them

Ten objections to Estate Planning and how to overcome them

I’ve given my relatives instructions on what I want done

Such instructions are not binding and result in delay, confusion, and additional expense in administering your Estate. If you pass away without leaving a valid Will in place, your wishes including the control of your Estate, the beneficiaries of your Estate, and who will look after your children cannot be followed? This leaves your family to sort out these issues and may lead to conflict between them and not seeing your wishes realized.

I have a Will, I did it when I first got married

All Wills need to be reviewed. Circumstances change, children are born, assets are bought and sold and relationships change. An old Will may be valid but wholly inadequate. For example, it may not make provision for all of your children as they weren’t all born when you made your Will. Your Will may have named your parents as executors which are no longer appropriate as they are elderly and not in a position to act as executors. Wills should be reviewed at least every three years to determine their validity and applicability. Having an old Will may be as effective as having no Will at all, or worse, could result in your estate not being dealt with in accordance with your intentions, or result in the Will being contested by disappointed beneficiaries.

Wills are too expensive

The cost of preparing a Will is generally far cheaper than paying solicitors fees to determine who can administer and who will benefit from your estate and then apply to the Court for a grant of administration following your death. The cost of a Will is a small price to pay to ensure that your personal effects go to those persons who you want to receive them and to ensure that your estate is administered in an efficient and timely manner without financial burden to your family. The price for a Will generally doesn’t vary due to the size of a person’s estate. Will become more expensive with the complexity of a person’s affairs. I have no family so it doesn’t matter if I have no Will Regardless of whether you have any immediate family, your affairs must be dealt with by someone and your assets will be disposed of to someone. Under the Succession Act, the end recipient in the event that you have no family or next of kin will be a payment to the Government. Most people have friends or a particular charity that they would rather see benefit from their estate. Further, a Will will make the process easier for whoever is left to pick up the pieces after you have gone.

I can do it myself

Of course, you can prepare a Will yourself or use a post office will kit to assist you for next to no fee. What a will kit doesn’t provide you with is advice and guidance on your legal obligations under the Succession Act and whom you have an obligation to provide for from your estate. Nor does it give any direction about the impact certain decisions will have on your family and loved ones or ensure that the documentation you complete will be valid and enforceable.

My spouse gets everything anyway

This line of thought presupposes that you will predecease your spouse. What happens if your spouse dies first or at the same time as you? In that circumstance, what happens to your children? Who will know your wishes regarding the upbringing and welfare of your children? Another issue with this line of thought is that assets that aren’t jointly owned will not necessarily go to your spouse. The Succession Act determines who gets your assets on your death. If you have children then your spouse is not entitled to all of your assets as they must be divided between your spouse and children

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