Understanding the role of a Wills and Estate lawyer will help clarify their importance in the process of organising your affairs to simplify the transition for your loved ones upon your passing. A Will is a legally binding document that describes how you wish your assets to be passed on after your death. Although many people choose not to execute a Will (either intentionally or inadvertently over 50% of Australians do not have a valid Will), in the interests of clarity, simplicity and certainty for your family, recruiting a Wills and Estate lawyer to guide you through the process of executing a valid Will is highly recommended.
What Happens If Someone Dies Without a Will?
If an individual dies without having executed a valid Will throughout their life, they are considered as having passed "intestate". This in itself is not necessarily an issue. Most jurisdictions around the world (and Australia being no exception) provide a set of legally binding "intestacy rules" that apply to a deceased's estate when there is no Will. Traditionally, the estate in whole would be passed to the eldest surviving son of the deceased. The spouse would often be left with nothing, and other children of the deceased were not considered at all. The law has largely adapted in step with society, with intestacy laws considering the needs of the family unit as a whole. However, due to the generality of intestacy, the estate is always subsumed into a single unit; it is impossible to pass on specific gifts, heirlooms or inheritances if an individual dies intestate.
What Is the Advantage in Recruiting a Wills and Estate Lawyer?
The advantage of executing a valid Will that has been guided by an experienced practitioner is largely one of flexibility. A Will can be as specific and detailed as you choose it to be; you can designate certain assets to be passed on to particular individuals (be it within the family or from outside the family). This means that items that hold a particular significance to certain people in your life can be specially noted and passed on to them rather than being considered part of the estate as a whole. You are free to make amendments to your Will at any stage, and your Wills and Estate lawyer will be able to guide you through the process of making changes and ensuring your Will reflects your current intentions.
Although it may seem like a banal and simultaneously overwhelming task, recruiting a Wills and Estate lawyer (like those at Peter Fisher Lawyers) to help you execute a valid Will ensures peace of mind that your estate will be well looked after on your passing. Executing a Will allows you the flexibility to dispose of your assets in the way that you want, rather than leaving your estate to be divided according to the State sanctioned rules of intestacy.Share
23 February 2015
It's no secret that the law is a topic of interest to nearly every one - it's the subject of some of the most popular TV shows, movies and novels in the world. People like the idea of solving a mystery, of justice being served, and of bright and passionate people arguing their cases. If you are dreaming about writing the next courtroom drama, you'll like this blog. It's a collection of the more interesting, different and unique legal news out there - and hopefully something will provide you the jump off point to writing your best piece of work yet.