Do I need a will?
One of the most important reasons to write a will is to make sure your wishes are known when you pass away. Writing a will tells the people you leave behind, how you want the things you own (your ‘estate’) to be distributed.
Most of the time, if you die without a will, your estate goes to your legal partner and children (or ‘dependents’). But making a will is still important even if you don’t have a partner or children to look after. Let’s look at why.
Understanding the risks of dying without a will
The first thing to look at is what might happen if you die without a valid will. Dying without a legally valid will is called ‘dying intestate’. Each state of Australia has its own rules about how your estate is handled if this happens.
If you die intestate, typically your ‘next of kin’ (closest relative) will be given all or part of your estate. But if this is not what you want, the only way to change it is with a valid will.
Things to include in your will as a single person without children
A single person without children will still usually have assets. If you have retirement accounts, retirement plans, bank accounts or other investments, you can name ‘beneficiaries’ for each of these assets. A ‘beneficiary’ is what we call someone you give your assets to in your will.
If one of your assets is a life insurance policy – you will have already named the person that you want that money to go to. You can still include things like this in your will – but it’s important to make sure that they are consistent. The last thing you want to do is create confusion.
If you own a pet, you can also make arrangements for that pet – including choosing a carer and leaving some money and guidance to help look after your pet. For a closer look at the sorts of assets that you can distribute with your will, please see our free Will Asset List Template.
Even when single and without dependents – a will can mean less financial risks for others
Starting a business, or making an investment, will usually involve financial risk. If you’ve started your own business with someone, or made an investment with a business partner, you can use your will to make sure that person is looked after even if you die unexpectedly.
Your business partner, or any financial partner, will be grateful that you thought about them. By making arrangements like this in your will, you might be able to save them from having to close the business, take a big financial loss, or pay early exit costs on an investment.
Reach out to the team at State Trustees
A will is the only legally valid document accepted by law as a person’s final wishes. Making a will, even if you don’t have children or a partner to look after, is a great way of making sure everyone knows exactly what you want after you die.
You can use our Online Will to produce a simple will document in as little as 30 minutes. Or, you can speak to us by video or in-person with a Will Appointment. To learn more, reach out to us on 1300 138 672 or fill out a contact form today!
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