Published: Tue, Jun 30th, 2015

Wills Are An Important Document In Your Estate Planning

Your Will is the final document giving instructions as to who will receive what from your estate after your death. A carefully prepared Will prevents a lot of family arguments and can eliminate claims against your estate. If you are in a ‘blended family’ it is essential you obtain good advise to ensure that your estate goes to those beneficiaries of your family who are important to you. Wills need to be reviewed during your lifetime, particularly when your situation changes.

Matters for consideration include:

Executors/Trustees. The role of the executor is to administer the estate of the deceased, and when completed will hold the assets on trust for the beneficiaries subject to the terms of the Will.

Funeral/Burial Instructions. Unless stated specifically in your Will, your executors will make the decision regarding your burial/cremation. Consider also organ donation.

Personal chattels. Thought should be given to gifting specific personal items – i.e. jewelry, heirloom items of the family etc.

Appointment of guardian. Important if you have children under 18 years old.

Assets and Liabilities. A full list of all your assets and liabilities with approximate values should be prepared.
Assets owned personally, jointly with a spouse/partner, by a company of whom you are a shareholder, as a beneficiary of a Trust or private superannuation fund etc. Liabilities include mortgages on properties, debt owing to friends/family etc.

Specific gifts or legacies. These bequests take precedence over distribution of the remainder of your estate, so ensure you have enough to pay all gifts/legacies if you want the remainder to go to other beneficiaries. If a beneficiary has died before you, what is to happen to their bequest/legacy/share of your estate. Make provision for a substitute beneficiary.

Need Legal Assistance?


Recent Reviews...

“Joy, we cannot thank you enough for your help with our purchase! You have been wonderful to deal with and so proactive (and patient with my numerous emails). We will be visiting NZ in April so will make sure we drop in to thank you in person.” ~ Mia
“I can't speak highly enough of Jenny. She got everything done in a timely manner and when my ex-husband threw a spanner in the works at the eleventh hour she got the required documentation to his lawyers and settlement back on track.” ~ Tracey
“To Michael Robinson – I wanted to thank you and your colleagues for many years of excellent service to the Bank. You have an outstanding business that has proved to be one of the most reliable and ethical businesses that Collections have dealt with in the almost 9 years I was with the Bank.” ~ Head of Collections
“John is very easy to talk to, he never makes you feel dumb, and never makes you feel like you are wasting his time for asking questions. He explains everything very clearly, every time. John's support staff are also very efficient and so easy to deal with. No detail is missed when dealing with them. My husband and I are fans of them all :)” ~ Jess