E5: The vital importance of making a will

It’s critically important to make a will, or you are likely to leave a messy situation for your family. It can be expensive and result in conflict.

Family lawyer, Alice Mantel, author of Every Woman’s Guide to Retirement, advises that you review and update your will at least every five years.

Whether you are single, married or in a de facto relationship, you need a will if you want those most important to you, and your preferred charities, to benefit.

Alice Mantel suggests you review your will every five years because situations change constantly. For example, your executor may move away, you may have new grandchildren, or you may decide to leave money to a different charity.

One of the most critical times to update your will is when you separate and divorce. Be aware separation doesn’t affect terms of the will,  and if you re-partner you need a new will as well as reviewing and updating powers of attorney and guardianship arrangements.

Put your key documents like car registration, insurance, computer passwords and your will in a secure place, but somewhere that can be found by your family if the worst happens and you are unable to manage your affairs unexpectedly, or you pass away.

Having a current will brings peace of mind and will assist your grieving loved ones after your death. Note, people on the full time pension in NSW can have a will drawn up for free through Service NSW.

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