16 April 2020
If you have noticed the date of this article, you can see where we are at. Yes, right in the middle of the global Coronavirus pandemic. And here I am choosing to discuss wills in my very first contribution to the Povey Stirk set of articles. You might think this morbid of me, or maybe I am being opportunistic and prompting as many of you as possible to go rushing to your nearest legal service and hurriedly have your Will typed up and witnessed. Actually, neither is the case.
The truth is, that since I joined Povey Stirk in 2019 I have become more and more interested in the area of wills and estates, finding it a rewarding and invaluable part of the service we offer here in Central Australia. It allows me not only to connect with my fellow Centralians on a more personal level, which suits me coming from a community services background but to provide them with a service which I am becoming more convinced is, (dare I say during this time), 'essential'.
I have seen what can happen when someone passes away and they have left no will (known as dying intestate). Ask any lawyer, and they will tell you just how often the sadness of losing a loved one can so quickly and frequently lead to confusion, rising tensions, and even outright hostility, hardly the ripple effect the deceased would have wanted for those left behind.
The fact is that your Will is more about those around you, than it is about you.
This may seem obvious, but it is worth enunciating here: your Will is the road map you leave behind for your loved ones when you are gone and they are grieving your loss.
For we are all human and cannot be expected to be super organised at the same time as we are dealing with the complex and often novel feelings that come when a close, or even not-so-close friend or family member passes away.
In future articles, I will endeavour to explain some of the more commonly asked questions and address some of the misconceptions surrounding not only wills but also other important planning tools we all need to live - and die - in the way we choose. You will be introduced to such phrases as 'probate', 'succession', and 'estate planning. I will explain what a beneficiary is, who can challenge a will, what role an executor plays, and the empowerment that comes with creating your own advanced personal plan.
And if I do all this well, I am hoping you will walk away with a renewed appreciation of this often misunderstood and somewhat foggy corner of life and the law.
So, let’s talk about wills.
In the next article 'Let's Talk About Who Gets What' I will discuss the ins and outs of being the beneficiary of someone's Will.
Disclaimer: This document provides general information and is not legal advice. While we endeavour to ensure the information is correct at the date of publication, laws frequently change. If anything in this post is relevant to you, please contact us for advice on your specific situation