G’day, my name’s Harley Wilkinson, I’m a solicitor in the wills and estates team here at OMB. Today I’m going to talk to you about the importance of timing in making a will.
In estate planning sometimes timing can be the difference between your estate being administered exactly in accordance with the way you’d hope it would be, and the other side of the coin being that it leads to family disarray, crisis management, and where the only certain beneficiaries are the lawyers.
Whether you’re just late in getting it done, or you’re one of those people that struggles with the reality of your own mortality, which both are perfectly fine, but neither solve the problem.
It’s just one of those things you really need to get on top of, and it’ll sometimes be that people with money and with wealth find that they can rely on that and feel a sense of comfort in that and it’s usually those people that leave things to the last minute or don’t get it done.
I’ll use an example, take Bob and Betty. They’ve established and run a profitable business and accumulate a lot of wealth throughout their lifetimes. They’ve got all the usual things that go along with being wealthy, such as a family trust, a self managed super fund.
Throughout their lifetimes, they’ve made a number of loans to their children and they’ve helped them out of sticky situations like debt, family law proceedings, that sort of thing.
Unfortunately, one day, Bob has an accident, passes away as a result of emotional stress, Betty passes away a few days later. Unfortunately for them, neither of them have a will, there’s no estate plan, there’s no binding death benefit nominations, and there’s no sort of directions about how the loans to their children are going to be dealt with.
So in this sort of circumstance, the only real winners here are the lawyers. Bob and Betty could have avoided all the issues I’ve just described by simply making a will.
Number one, while there are a number of other things they could have done to go and set up a more comprehensive estate plan, going in and having an appointment with your solicitor to make a will is the first step in that process.
If you’d like some advice about making a will, making an estate plan, doing any other estate planning documents, give us a call here at OMB and we can set up an appointment.