There are so many good reasons to have a current Will (here are eleven to get you started!). But it is particularly important to have one if you own real estate.
Here are two reasons.
1. If you own property on your own or as tenants in common
Once you die, it will be necessary to transfer your property to someone else (for tax and other reasons). If you have left a valid Will, this can be done by getting a grant of probate. However, if you die without a valid Will, the more complex ‘letters of administration’ process must be followed. This takes longer and is likely to result in legal fees much more expensive than had you just made a Will in the first place, particularly if State Trustees need to get involved.
We pay money to take out insurance in case the worst happens to our health, our car or our home, and hope we never need to call on it. But (and we hate to be the bearer of bad news), you are going to die. To quote Benjamin Franklin,* ‘ín this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes’. So if you can spend a small amount of money now (see our prices here) to save more later, why wouldn’t you?
2. If you own property as joint tenants
If you own property as joint tenants and you die, your interest in the property will go to the other joint tenant automatically. But what if the two of you (and any kids you have) die without leaving Wills? Intestacy law says that your joint equity in the property will go wholly to the family of the person in the couple who is younger.
However, if you have a Will, you can state that in this situation, your interest in the house can be split 50/50 between both your families. Or you can leave it to someone else entirely, if you so choose? But you get to choose, rather than it being determined according to arbitrary rules.
Get started making your Will today (you can start anytime, from the comfort of your couch). We offer discount packages for partners, as well as full Peace of Mind packages for people who also need Enduring Powers of Attorney (so you can make decisions on each other’s behalf if you lose capacity) and Binding Death Benefit Nominations (to direct your superannuation, as your Will can’t do this). Remember, if we have previously done your conveyancing, you get our 10% mates rates discount on any future legal services, including Wills.
* this is the guy who also said ‘Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy’. He knows his stuff…