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Why Every Parent Needs a Will

April 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 127

What is a Will?

No one likes to think about their own death. But for parents, making a will is the single most important thing you can do to make sure your child is cared for by the people you would choose if anything should happen to you. In your will you can appoint a person (guardian) to care for your children if you die before they become legal adults. You will also need to designate a person (executor) to manage your money for your children until they reach adulthood. You can appoint one person to act as both guardian and executor, or choose two people to carry out the roles separately.

What happens if I die without a Will?

Without a will, there's no guarantee that when you die your money will go to the people you want or that your children will be cared for by the person you believe will do the best job.

This may come as a shock, but if you die without a valid will, state laws require that your property be divided according to a fairly inflexible formula.

Sounds fine, but without a will, in some states a state-appointed administrator (who charges fees for the service) would control your children's money until each child turned 18.

Moreover, if you and your partner both died without a will, the state courts and social services department would appoint someone to raise your children. And that person might have very different ideas about parenting than you do. Even if you think you have almost no property to leave your children, it's worth making a will to make sure you get to choose their guardian.

Things to think about

Whilst "self help" will kits are available, they tend to be very basic. The formalities of executing a will must be strictly adhered to otherwise the will could be deemed invalid. It is best to therefore have a solicitor draft your will. The consequences of not have your will drafted and executed correctly are just too great to risk. Here are a few things to think about before making an appointment with your solicitor:

  • Make a list of all your assets, including bank accounts, investments, real estate, life insurance, and personal property.
  • Choose an executor to carry out your wishes and handle the necessary paperwork after you die.
  • Decide exactly whom you want to inherit what, and when. For instance, you might want your daughter to inherit her grandmother's gold bracelet when she turns 16.
  • Choose a guardian for your children.
  • Choose alternate executor/guardian in case your first choice is unwilling or unable to do the job.
  • Decide whether you want to include a letter stating how you'd like your children to be raised and educated, your funeral to be arranged, and so on.

Olsen Lawyers is able to assist in your Legal Matters, located in Brisbane Queensland Australia.

Please call us today and mention Ezine Articles to get your free hour consultation and ask for Ben Olsen today. Phone: +61 (0)7 3846 5288 or Fax: +61 7 3846 7318

Olsen Lawyers provides legal services for conveyancing and property law; commercial law; liquor licensing and gaming machine law; family law; corporate law; wills and probate. Based in West End, we service clients from both the inner and outer suburbs of Brisbane, and can assist with property transactions throughout Queensland for both local and international investors.

Source: EzineArticles
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