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Do I Really Need a Will? And Should I Pay a Lawyer to Make One?

Date:
By Sarah Young

 

The short answers are yes and yes.

As we touched on in our last post (Think You Don't Need a Will? Think Again!), there are many reasons why you should start planning your estate sooner rather than later.  Most us will budget and plan our finances during our life, so it is only natural that we should also plan what happens to all that hard work once our lives come to an end.  It can be a challenging process to face up to your own mortality, but the benefits are worth it.

A Will is all about what you want.  It’s about making sure your wishes are heard once you are gone.  The process of preparing a Will and planning your estate is also about helping you to understand the importance of how you own your assets (think about your joint assets) and what happens to these when you pass away.  It’s also about helping you to understand your legal obligations in relation to your estate and how it should be dealt with, including working out strategies to avoid potential conflicts in relation to your estate.

We all know that you can drop into the local newsagency or on the internet and buy a DIY Will Pack.  Why would you pay a lawyer more money to do the same thing for you?  The short answer is that your Will is an important document and you need to make sure it is done right. 

Over the years we’ve seen things go so wrong with DIY Wills, simply because the document hasn’t been completed correctly or the wishes aren’t clearly spelt out.  Often this results in significant increased costs (thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars) in dealing with the estate. 

Estate planning has become a complex area of law that can often be extremely technical and full of pitfalls for the average person.  When you see a lawyer, you’re not just paying for a document to be drawn up.  You are also paying for the advice that goes along with making sure that your Will is effective and properly sets out your wishes.

Many people do not wish to discuss their Will with their family and loved ones as they do not want anyone to know its contents.  By law, unless you agree to it, nobody other than you is entitled to know the contents of your Will.  Discussing your Will and estate plan with your lawyer means that they will cover the issues you may not have thought about or didn’t know you needed to think about!

At Mason Lawyers, we are here to guide you through all aspects of estate planning and estate administration to make the process as easy as possible, no matter how complex your affairs are.  We are conveniently located throughout the Newcastle region with offices in Newcastle, Mayfield, Belmont, Warners Bay and Maitland.  To start your estate planning, call us today on (02) 4929 4499 to make an appointment with one of our lawyers, or for more information see the Wills & Estate Planning of our site.