I am 31 years old, I have two children and a husband, I own my mortgage, the bank owns my house and I own very little, so why do I need to make a Will?
Interestingly, a significant number of young people when considering making a Will often don’t make one because they believe they do not own enough assets. The common misconception is “I don’t have much, so it’s not really going to matter”.
The truth is that quite often we have far more assets than we believe. Many of us have life insurance, we have superannuation (with some insurance component attached), we have some equity in a home, and we may have some small bank accounts.
Whether we realise it or not, these small amounts can actually can add up to a significant amount of money.
So, if I don’t make a Will where does this money go?
If you don’t make a valid Will, there can be significant ramifications for your family in the event of your premature death. The rules of intestacy provide that in circumstances where you die without leaving a valid Will, your spouse is entitled to the first $100,000 of your Estate. The monies remaining are then divided into thirds, with 1/3 of these funds being paid to your spouse and the other 2/3 being paid to your children. This can lead to a situation where your spouse and your children own your home together. While this sounds workable in theory, in practice, it means that it is incredibly difficult for your spouse to move freely, have access to money in the event of a necessity and may make it difficult be able to provide for the ongoing costs related to raising children. It also may have an impact on your children having access to first home owner grants and schemes in the future.
The death of any family member is incredibly stressful and emotional time. The failure by a spouse to leave a Will at an age can increase the stress and anxiety for family members significantly. Making a Will is a very small step in ensuring that your family is taken care of when they really need it.
Making your wishes clear becomes even more important if you are in a second relationship where there may be more than one child or you may both be bringing children to the relationship. How you treat these children may be vastly different depending on your personal circumstances. The failure to leave a valid Will can have a disastrous impact on the assets available for your loved ones in the event of your death.
Look after those who love you most and make a Will, it is a small thing you can do that will mean so much once you are gone.