Your Will Be Done

Posted by - - Will & Estates.

Utopia: where a simple budget-priced will produces its desired results. To sleep, perchance to dream? I suppose that once you are dead, what does it matter how your hard earned is split up? It’s only money, after all. Rightly or wrongly, it matters to most people. And it probably matters to you. The litmus test is this: would you vote for a political party that advocated taxing inheritances at the rate of 100%? No? Not many people would, notwithstanding that it could mean less or no income tax and a more equitable distribution of wealth.

So, it can be taken as given that you don’t want your hard-earned going to the government upon your death. Would you be happy about it going to the trustee in bankruptcy of one of your children? How about to his or her ex-spouse? Would you be happy for a there to be a squabble amongst your family members in the Supreme Court over who should get what? All of these things happen, and not infrequently.

Perhaps you don’t want to think about it. After all, none of your children will ever divorce. None of your children will ever go bankrupt or be liable for large business debts. And heaven forbid that any of your children should ever argue over your will, or over who you gave the most to or who you loved the most.

And as for second marriages, well, your former spouse will be careful, and none of ‘the kids’ inheritance’ will go to the new partner, let alone to his or her children. No, everything will be all right. Really. All these things happen to other people. They won’t happen to you.

And the trustee of your superannuation fund is bound to make the same decision about the payment of the death benefits as you would have made, so why not leave the decision to him or her?

Not so sure? Well, what can you do anyway? Quite a lot actually. An estate plan, a properly and carefully drawn will, perhaps incorporating a testamentary trust, and sometimes, a deed of family arrangement. The reward for both you and your beneficiaries is peace of mind flowing from increased confidence that your will be done.

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