E1: making your will – don’t put it off!

Making your will is one of those tasks that’s easy to put off. After all, being reminded of our mortality is something many of us avoid. But making a will and clearly understanding the consequences of your decisions can help you sleep at night. And you can avoid a potentially difficult and divisive situation for your loved ones if you die without a will.

In today’s episode, experienced lawyer and specialist in elder law, Alice Mantel takes us through the practicalities of will making including some thorny issues such as leaving your assets to your grandchildren rather than your children and how to choose your executors. She also has tips on where to keep your will, how often to review it and whether you really need a lawyer to draft your will.

Her advice is to review your will at least once a decade; and to use a lawyer rather than a will kit because they can be too basic for many situations. Alice suggests choosing executors who get along well and are good communicators. She advises against too much favouritism in wills as it can lead to family conflict later. On the question of leaving your money to charities if your children are comfortably off, she says this is best done by being as specific as possible.

Listen to the Patricia Amphlett’s interview with Alice Mantel, and then click on these links for easy to understand information from reputable websites.

The NSW Trustee and Guardian for clear advice and a free will service for people on full Centrelink pensions. There is also advice on getting your will stored with the NSW Trustee and Guardian for a small fee.

Moneysmart the Federal Government’s financial advice website has good advice on how to estate planning to make sure your wishes are carried out.

The NSW Law Society explains the importance of having a will, consequences of dying without a will, and other practical matters.

Choice the consumer organisations explains the pros and cons of DIY will kits and reviews five popular will kits.

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