A Will is a legal document that allows you to decide:
- Who will step in to your shoes as an executor to manage your affairs and distribute your assets in accordance with the instructions you provide;
- How and to whom your assets pass on your death; and
- Who will assume the role of guardian for your minor children.
By contrast, if you do not have a valid Will at the time of your death, then the intestacy laws of the relevant state or territory of Australia where you are considered to have been domiciled at the time of your death, will apply. This could mean that a spouse whom you are separated from but not yet legally divorced, remote relatives or a relative who you do not like or get along with, could end up controlling your estate and benefiting from your hard-earned assets.
Even if you already have a Will, certain events, such as marriage, separation, divorce, the commencement of a new relationship, the addition of children and/or grandchildren, a need to protect a vulnerable beneficiary, will mean that you need to amend your existing Will or have a new Will prepared.