5 December 2017 –
Wills are the kind of thing you associate with old people. Old people with money and houses and businesses and assets and other important stuff to gift away when they die. But did you realise that even if you’re aged between 18 and 25, having a Will and an Enduring Power of Attorney is extremely important?
Let’s have a look why.
Firstly. Wills. Ok your “last will and testament” as they say in the movies, is a legal document that tells people what you want to happen with your assets when you die. Why do you need one? Well you don’t really because, well, you’re dead. But if you care about your family and if you care who is going to end up with your stuff, then you should have one.
You might think that you are young and don’t have many assets. But even if you’ve been working for a few years, you’re going to have a bit of dosh saved up in your super fund. You might even have a life insurance policy in your super fund, or one that your parents took out for you so it’s worth checking into all that.
You may also have a car, a bike, a pet, family jewellery or an heirloom that you want to pass on to a particular person. The other thing to consider is if you have an inheritance or funds in trust account that you can’t touch yet, but it’s technically yours.
If you die without a will you are said to be “intestate”. Your “estate” (whatever money and possessions you have at the time of your death) will then be administered by a person you may rather not have in that position or the Public Trustee, which may be a slow and complicated process for your surviving family members and it can mean that people you care about don’t end up with your possessions.
Having a Will does make things much easier on your family. Let’s face it, if you have just died they’re going to be struggling emotionally, so adding an extra burden on them at that point in time is the last thing they need.
Here’s some other things you can do in your will that you may not have thought of
- Tell people what you want done with your social media accounts. You might have stored photos and documents online that you want your family to handle a certain way.
- Give money or possessions to friends or charities. Generally if you don’t have a will, your assets will (after a lengthy process) go to immediate family members like parents or siblings. If you want to give assets to a boyfriend/girlfriend or a mate, you can put these wishes in your will.
The second thing we mentioned is an Enduring Power of Attorney. An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you name a trusted person or persons to be your attorney or “agent” and give them the power or authority to handle certain business and/or financial matters in your place, such as paying bills, etc, and to make decisions regarding basic health and well-being matters. EPAs can come into effect at different times (depending on how you set them up).
For instance if you have an accident and you are left in a coma or persistent vegetative state, or if head off overseas and want someone you trust to look after your business and financial affairs at home while you’re away. This is especially important if you have a life partner to whom you are not married so they can make decisions on your behalf.
Getting a Will and EPA done is not a difficult or expensive process.
Edgar and Wood would like to see all young people get their affairs in order, so we are offering a discounted rate of just $110 for anyone aged between 18 – 25. Contact us to make an appointment (between 8 January and 31 March) or if you have a few people from your place of work who are interested, we can come to you.