Why have a Will?

The purpose of this article is to encourage everyone to make the quantum leap to make a will and to avoid putting off the task any longer.

I suspect that many people consider making a will to be somewhat like having to do their tax return every year.  It is a job that is put off until you receive a friendly reminder from your accountant or, worse still, from the tax office.

Unlike the failure to lodge a tax return, the failure to prepare a will does not result in a punitive penalty.  Hence, it is easier to “put it off to another day”.

In most cases, it is simply a case of overcoming a natural resistance to get a will prepared.

Perhaps part of the problem is the general misconception that the task of preparing a will is a difficult and expensive job.  In some circumstances, the preparation of a will can be a complex exercise.  However, in most circumstances, the task at hand is reasonably straightforward, relatively inexpensive, and the “turnaround time” for the completion of the job will be about one week.
In this day and age, it is difficult to imagine why a person should not have an up to date will.
The advantages of having a will include:
  • You can ensure that your hard-earned assets go to the people you want to benefit.
  • You can ensure that your beneficiaries take their inheritance at the time you think they will be able to deal with it.
  • You can omit people from your will who would otherwise receive a distribution if you died without a will.
  • You get to choose the executor, which can be especially important if assets are to be held in trust for minors or for beneficiaries who may have difficulties in managing their inheritance.
  • Your estate will most likely incur fewer costs.
  • Your estate is likely to be administered more quickly.
In many cases, there is palpable relief on the part of clients when the task of preparing new wills has been completed.  Generally, that relief is accompanied by comments to the effect of:

“Well, that was not too difficult!”



Charles Beresford

5 December 2016