Why it’s a good idea to draft and update wills

It’s natural to be averse to discussions about death, and as a result a substantial number of people do not have a current Will. Even those with the foresight to draft one rarely review and update them. Here is why it’s a good idea to do both.

Aren’t Wills only for rich people?

That’s a common misconception, but it’s far from true. The small cost of engaging a lawyer to draft a simple will almost always outweighs the costs of sorting out uncertainties later on, even when family members are on good terms. Everyone over the age of 18 should have a Will. Here are some of the reasons why you should draft a will.

Control – a Will ensures your assets pass to the right person/people. You can choose the person you trust the most to be the executor and trustee responsible for the administration of your estate. Without a Will, your executor and trustee could end up being someone who you don’t want in control. What’s worse than working hard all your life, only for the fruits of your labour to go to the wrong person?

Efficiency – As mentioned above, having a Will minimises the legal cost of probate and administering your estate.  A Will also minimises delays in passing gifts to your loved ones who may be financially dependent on receiving the gift.

Peace of mind for your family – In the unfortunate event of death, having a Will avoids the added stress and uncertainty that arises when there isn’t a Will.

Tomorrow may be too late – Unfortunately, death from old age isn't the only event that is relevant. Loss of mental capacity from an accident, disease or the aging process can prevent you from preparing your Will.

Review an existing Will

If you already have a Will, you should review and update it regularly to ensure it reflects your current circumstances. A review does not necessarily mean that a change is required, but does ensure that your will is up to date.

It is recommend that Wills be reviewed:

At least every three years

If you separate, divorce or have a change in partner

At the birth of more children/grandchildren

If you establish or close a trust, company or business

Whenever you dispose of, or acquire significant assets, e.g. property 

If you acquire significant debts or there is a possibility of you becoming insolvent

If a beneficiary dies or has a significant change in circumstances, including a family law dispute

An executor passes away or becomes ill

How AHL Legal can help you

Drafting a Will can be daunting and having a Wills lawyer to guide you through the process is a good idea. AHL Legal have experienced Probate and Wills lawyers who are Chinese speaking as well and can help you with your Will.