A R Walmsley Solicitors Sydney

DOCUMENTS & GUIDES...

WHAT IS THE AIM OF A GOOD WILL?

We have all had the experience of having to paint a room, a shed, a cupboard or a house. There is any number of short cuts:

  • Not preparing the surface properly (it's too hard);
  • Buying cheap paint;
  • Only put one coat on;
  • Don't use precautions such as masking tape (that's too hard too);
  • Don't clean up.

Following the above procedure, the end result is generally a disaster. The paint flakes or doesn't last; you are in serious trouble with your husband or wife, partner or family; paint is put on areas where it shouldn't go and left off areas where it should go; and, somebody always puts their foot right in the bucket of paint.

The aim of a good Will is to provide for those that you want or need to provide for. It is important that there is significant preparation. There is no point just concentrating on the cost. There is little or no merit in failing to prepare. There is a need to tidy up. Unless all of these steps are followed what can result is an absolute mess.

What is a potential mess during one's lifetime can often be covered up. The person who is dominant or central can easily sweep difficulties under the carpet. They cannot be swept under the carpet when that dominant person has passed on.

The classic circumstances which can cause a really spectacular mess are:

  • the blended family; and
  • the family business either carried out in a partnership or under the umbrella of a company.

These particular circumstances cause the most concern for anyone who is trying to draft a good Will. Often the production of a good Will is not the only object of conscientious preparation. A good Will only reflects good structures that have been put into place. In the process of preparing a good Will there is a need to reflect on the financial structures that we have established. These structures may be perfectly fine while we are alive. However, after death these structures have the potential to be a nightmare for those who are left behind. Consequently, it is important that there be an overview of our whole financial structure. This is not an easy task. It is emotionally draining and sometimes totally mysterious and confusing. However, it is a task which should be undertaken.

There is no such thing as a simple Will. Nearly everybody in the community has a superannuation benefit. That simple fact makes the drafting of Wills a far bigger exercise than it ever has been before. There are taxation implications which need to be taken into account. The aim of a good Will is to pass your assets on to those to whom you wish to benefit, and to do it in the most effective way, without the loss of any asset simply by not considering the effect of what you are doing.

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