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The ultimate objective of a Will is to give effect to the Will maker’s intentions. In other words, who gets what when I die!
In addition to the distribution of assets, a Will also covers certain other matters such as the appointment of executors, trustees and guardians of minors, the payment of debts and duties, trustee powers and duties and other provisions which will assist in the fulfilment of your wishes.
Some people may question the need for a Will and instead prefer to rely upon the rules of intestacy succession to dispose of their estates. Intestacy is a statutory method of distributing an estate in the event that someone dies without a valid Will.
If you die without a Will, the process of intestate applications are generally more complex. The statutory provisions do not take into account any particular wishes or circumstances of the person who has passed. Unless, of course, the intention is that the partner and the children take all of the property in exactly the manner in which the provisions of the Wills Probate and Administration Act dictates.
However, even this intention can be affected since the entitlement of a de facto spouse on intestacy has arisen under the Wills Probate and Administration Act. This may result in the exclusion of the rights of a surviving spouse, leaving the spouse to his or her rights under the Family Provision Act 1982. For the surviving spouse to pursue their rights under the Act involves not only Court application costs, but also the cost of time and expense.
There are many sound reasons for a Will to be made. Fundamentally, a Will permits you to dispose of your property as you wish.
Having made a Will it is important that you review it regularly to determine whether it has been affected by any changes in your circumstances or intention. This becomes particularly essential when large value assets such as property or shares are acquired or disposed of. In the event that you pass away and your Will does not reflect your current assets, it can result in an unnecessary expenditure of both time and money, as well as emotional strain on your family and loved ones. Some people choose to review and update their Will on an annual basis.
It is the role of the solicitor to ensure that your Will reflects your wishes and to do so they must obtain a complete list of your assets, the nature of their ownership, their values and any effects upon them. This knowledge will help to ensure that your Will reflects your true intentions.
If you would like advice regarding the preparation or amendment of your Will or for more information regarding and Will or Estate matters please contact Quinn Lawyers on 1300 QUINNS or click here to complete our online enquiry form.