You may not be surprised to learn that we recommend most people engage a suitably qualified legal professional to develop their Will and Estate Plan.
After all we’re Wills and Estates lawyers.
But setting any cynicism you may have aside for a moment, I would like to emphasise that this is the case for ‘most’ people – not necessarily ‘all’.
At risk of talking myself out of business, there are circumstances where a DIY Will may be appropriate.
As a general rule a DIY Will may be sufficient but only if your wishes are very simple and your financial and personal situation isn’t complicated.
Here are some key considerations that may indicate that you require a more complex Will and Estate Plan.
- There is a blended family.
- You’re separated from a spouse and property settlement hasn’t been finalised.
- You wish to leave specific instructions and provision for the care of a loved one or yourself if you become incapacitated.
- There are stepchildren or unrelated individuals, including new partners, who are dependents or could claim to be.
- You own a business.
- You would like more control of how your superannuation and any associated life insurance is allocated.
- There are taxation considerations.
- There could be potential confusion or conflict between other beneficiaries or joint owners.
- You have family members or dependents who are estranged, or you would like to exclude from your Will.
- You wish to gift shares or other property before you die.
- There is existing animosity between family member and loved ones, or a reasonable expectation of conflict occurring after you die.
- You have a company or family trust.
- You wish to allocate gifts or property to a certain value, while making allowances for inflation and value fluctuations.
- If you wish to make changes to an existing Will and are unclear of how to do it.
- You have foreign investments or bank accounts or own property abroad.
- You have concerns that your wishes may not be followed.
- You’re not completely clear about the legalities of ensuring a Will is valid.