Think it's expensive to have a lawyer prepare your will? Wait until you see the costs of resolving family disputes and administering your estate with your cheap online will.
Despite the statistics demonstrating that only half the Australian adult population has a will, more of the population understands the importance of having a valid will.
Historically, there were a limited number of ways to make a will - using a post office will kit, through the public trustee or your solicitor. But with technology, there are now several online 'DIY' will providers who market their online wills as safe, simple, secure and cost-effective.
The problem is life is not simple.
Life is more complicated now than it has ever been. Families have complex relationship dynamics and own assets in a range of structures, including trusts, companies and superannuation. Technology has come on in leaps and bounds but can artificial intelligence really produce an appropriate will, such an important document, dealing with all these complex issues?
You may feel good, accomplished even, that you have sorted out your will simply and securely online. However, would you feel the same if you knew that simple online will caused problems for your loved ones because it didn't deal with what happens if you lose capacity or who has control of your family trust or superannuation on your death?
No one wants to be remembered for the stressful, complicated, time-consuming and costly estate they left for their loved ones when they died.
It's no longer enough to have a will. You need a proper estate plan that deals with your family dynamics, your personal estate, superannuation and any other trusts or companies you may control.
The process of estate planning provides you with advice and options to make an informed decision about who should make decisions on your behalf if you were to lose capacity and allows you to deal appropriately with all assets, whether that is through a will for your personally owned assets or via other documents enabling you to pass the control of assets in a family trust or superannuation fund.
Before using an online or post office will kit, think about the real cost to your family.
Author: Laura Hanrahan
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.