Ready to write your will but not sure where to start? We've compiled a step-by-step checklist of all tasks and paperwork you can collect ahead of time to sail through the process. Offering a simplified roadmap to guide you through the legal document jargon and provide a useful checklist for during your will-writing.
At Safewill, we appreciate writing your Will can be daunting. Confronting your end-of-life plans can feel overwhelming enough, without the added stress of complex jargon and intimidating but important legal documents to navigate. Sadly, we can't help you avoid death all together. But with our support, we can at least provide shelter from the Will stress storm which might be putting you off this important piece of life admin.
Our online process splits your Will-writing into manageable chunks, to be completed around your own personal circumstances. But if your looking to fly through as smoothly as possible, today we offer you a one-stop, ultimate list of everything you'll need to prepare in advance.
These 6 steps cover exactly what you'll need to prepare and to write your will:
Compile a list of everything you own and assign a value to it. The final list inventory will cover all your personal assets, financial affairs and debts, including:
Should I include digital assets in my will?
Yes. You'll also need to consider digital assets and accounts. To enable your family members easy access after you die, it can be useful to include a list of passwords and login details in your last will and testament. This covers digital devices, as well as online platforms used to access your digital assets across bank accounts, share holdings, vehicle registrations etc. If you wish, can also provide social media login details to preserve your digital legacy after you die.
In sum, when identifying your assets & debts, ask yourself:
Next, it's time to appoint people to carry out those all important wishes for you. When writing your will, it's important to think about several different roles which safeguard these wishes and protect your assets and your potential beneficiaries. Below we provide further information on who appoint, the whole process of what they'll do and things to consider in your choice:
Identify the Executor of your Will
Identify any appointed legal Guardian:
Identify any Power of Attorney's:
In sum, when deciding who to look after your affairs, ask yourself:
An optional addition is to also leave these people directions on your end of life wishes, asking yourself:
An important next step of creating a legal will is financial planning. Your own will provides an important legal document to guide beneficiaries of your assets, as well as what or how much each of these beneficiaries will get. This distribution of your assets marks an important part of the legacy you want to leave, and can include those in your immediate and blended families, as well as friends and charitable organisations.
How to include a charity in my new will?
At Safewill, we've partnered with hundreds of Australian charities, and seen first hand how big an impact even a small donation can have. From Unicef to the RSPCA, Plan International and Guide Dogs- charitable requests can allow you to make that extra difference in death.
We're passionate about making these donations easier for you and seamless for our charity partners. Our online Will-writing platform reflects this goal, and it's now easier than ever before to make charity bequests within our system. And you'll receive professional advice on the important documents required to transfer money or assets to these organisations.
What about alternative ways to distribute my assets in death?
To provide extra security to your asset distribution wishes, you may also consider establishing a trust. This could be a family discretionary or charity testamentary trust fund, which will distribute these assets to the designated beneficiaries according to predefined conditions.
In sum, when deciding how to distribute your estate, ask yourself:
If you started working at a young age you may not remember who you nominated to receive your Superannuation payout upon your death. Likewise, it may have been months or years since you reviewed your life insurance policy (which can provide an extra layer of protection when organising your affairs; helping to pay off any debts in a deceased estate or help to offset potential capital gains tax liabilities).
Writing your Will is a good time to review and update your beneficiaries for superannuation and life insurance policies. This is especially important, given that these funds do not automatically flow to the beneficiaries nominated in your Will.
A Will does not become a valid legal document until a hard copy is dated and signed by the person who created it. It must also be witnessed and signed by two neutral adults, who are not beneficiaries to the Will.
Previous versions of the will should be destroyed, and as the will maker you should then store this up to date document in a safe place. This could either be with a solicitor or in a safe deposit box, which can't be accessed by anyone until after your death.
Alongside the safe storage of your will, you should also file a collection of documents relating to your identity, relationships, the ownership of property and other assets and financial information. This will not only help you to create your Will but will make your executor's life easier when the time comes to administer the deceased estate. Your paperwork should be made up of:
It's important to review and update your will every 3-5 years, or to coincide with certain life events. Whether it's having children, getting married, buying or selling property or even bringing a new pet into your life, it's important these new aspects of your life are safeguarded by the instructions in a valid will.
That's why we've made it so easier than ever before to access professional legal advice, as well as make changes to your will. And ultimately, why we believe writing your will online is the best option to facilitate these life and consequent will changes.
Safewill offers legal guidance and estate planning support whilst saving you money, minimizing time consuming appointments and supporting you with a compassionate but professional legal advice.
We offer more guidance than a diy will or online will kit, and prevent you dying intestate because of financial barriers or errors in writing a valid will document. So kickstart getting your estate planning now, and chat through your options today; via 1800 103 310 , or live chat