Is your Will up to date?

There are some documents that we tend to neglect and over look and our Wills are one of them. I think this is partially because we feel we are immortal and bullet proof and these are things we do not need to worry about or that we will get around to them at some stage and we often do not. This then leaves chaos for our next of kin when they have to pick up the pieces.

I have also often seen it where people just neglect to update theirs Wills after there has been a change in circumstances. There are many changes in circumstances that need to be considered and remembered. One of the most obvious is when a couple get divorced and very often had a joint Will whilst they were still married. It goes without saying that that on divorce the division of assets will be totally different to that when the parties were still married. The same applies to electing guardians for your children. As the children get older different family members or friends will be appropriate guardians for your children.

It is important to remember that your Will is a vital document and I do not think it is wise to down load a precedent off the internet or buy a ‘general’ Will from your local stationary store. It is a document that needs careful consideration and attention to detail and is hugely personal. To give an example of this, a farmer may wish to leave his farm to his son, but will still need to make provision for his daughters that they have similar monetary value to the farm and this may be in way of paintings, jewellery or antique furniture. It may go so far as to allow the daughters to benefit from the financial rewards of the crops or herds on the farm. The point being, that careful consideration needs to be given to this document and I strongly advise that we all consider if our Wills are up to date and furthermore we take stock of our lives and assets and how we want them to be divided. It is catastrophic for a family to have a member die and there be no Will. It creates disharmony and descent, and long delays having the Estate wound up.

If your children are being brats or your spouse clandestine there is nothing stopping you from leaving your entire Estate to set up a home for feral cats. I have seen it done!