A Will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for what will happen to you, your property and assets after you are gone. It’s the only way to be sure that your Estate (the legal term for your property and assets) will be divided among those you care about in a way that you’re comfortable with. Regardless of the value of your Estate, it’s important to create a Will for a number of reasons.
The Will determines who’s in charge of your assets after you are gone and can outline instructions for your cremation or burial and funeral. It’s important to note, too, that not having one can lead to some pretty complicated legal situations down the line where others will make decisions for you.
Who’s in Charge of the Will After I’m Gone?
In your Will you can appoint an “Executor of the Estate” to administer the Estate after you pass away. Usually the Executor is the spouse or other next of kin, and it’s their job to confer with the solicitor and settle legal matters. If any disputes arise in legal matters regarding your Estate, the Executor of the Estate has the final say on how to resolve them.
Do I Need to Plan My Funeral in My Will?
How you set out your Will is up to you, and while you are not legally obligated to outline your wishes for your funeral, doing so creates a guideline for your family. It helps them to know what to do and gives them the peace of mind they’re doing the right thing when the time comes. If they are aware of your wishes, they are likely to carry out the funeral plans – and burial or cremation – that you set out for yourself, so it’s also a way of ensuring your wishes are met.
If you don’t provide funeral directions in your Will, it’s up to the Executor of the Estate – or anyone appointed by them – to organise the funeral.
When Do I Need to Start Thinking About a Will?
There is no time too soon to start planning your Will. If you have a Will and something happens to you, you can rest assured that your family will know what to do and that someone you trust will be in charge of executing your estate. Remember that you can update your Will at any time, so as long as you keep it updated there’s no risk of being legally bound to your past preferences. If you re-marry it is important to make a new Will.
What Happens if I Don’t Have a Will?
If you don’t have a legal or valid will then your Estate will be divided according to a set of rules called the “Rules of Intestacy”. This can complicate matters for the family and means that your assets might not go to the beneficiaries you hoped they would go to.
At Cremations Only, we recommend writing a Will as soon as possible to make matters easy for your family. If you need advice or options for an affordable cremation or funeral service, we’d love to help you. Call us on 1300 311 747 to discuss or email us.