Last Will and Testament

Important Elements You Need for Your Last Will and Testament

While the thought of preparing for your death might seem odd, the fact that it is inevitable makes writing a last will and testament more necessary. The best time to do it is now, when you’re in good health and with a sound mind. If you have assets that need to be distributed to your dependents, it’s crucial that you start planning which ones will go to whom in case of an untimely demise. It will also spare your loved ones from having to go through all the stress and conflict over resources after your passing.

There are plenty of lawyers in Townsville who can assist, but generally, you can write your will using some of the templates available online and then have an attorney go over it to ensure that you have everything covered. Whether you decide to go the personal route or seek assistance from a legal professional, there are important elements that should be included in your will.

Hopefully, this guide will help you to write a document that is clear and executable.

Your executor

This is the person whom you have assigned to ensure that all elements in your will are carried out as written and all assets are divided according to what you have specified. This can be a parent, an institution, or a lawyer. Be sure to name an alternate in the event that the original executor is unavailable or unwilling when the time comes.

Your beneficiaries and the specific assets/properties they get (and alternate beneficiaries, if any)

Specific bequests refer to specific properties or assets that are given to certain individuals. It does not have to include only family members and can include friends, organizations, charities, and more. In case the first beneficiary has already passed away or the institution has shut down, your will should also contain alternate names to which the assets will be given instead.

Instructions on dividing assets

Your will should give precise instructions on how your properties will be divided among the beneficiaries, down to the last detail. In the event that you did not do this on your document, an estate planning attorney can help with the revision so that there will be no conflict in the future.

Specifications on handling expenses, debts, and taxes

When you die, your payables remain. These include your funeral costs, probate expenses, estate taxes, and other unpaid bills after your demise. Your will should include how these are to be settled from your assets, including a bank account (if any) from which the funds will be sourced. You can also direct the sale of a specific property to pay these off so that none of your beneficiaries will be burdened.

Who will take all the remaining properties

older sick man holding his last will and testament

There might still be other properties that are not included in your will, so it’s best to name a person or persons (or organization) who will receive all of those that have not been assigned.

Dying without a will automatically triggers laws on intestacy, which means the government will have the power to decide how your estate will be distributed and to whom. In some states, the properties are divided among the spouse and children, though not all areas practice this.

In Townsville, the former condition applies. If you do not have an immediate family, your assets will immediately go to your parents, siblings, and other family members. In-laws are not included as they are not “next of kin,” same with a step-parent. The best way to ensure that all your properties are assigned properly is to make a valid will and ensure that it is updated.