No one wants to think about dying, however it is vital to take proactive steps to ensure that your loved ones are provided for in a way that reflects your wishes.
What Is an Executor of a Will?
A Will Executor is appointed under your Will to carry out your wishes. We would prefer the sentence to begin with 'An Executor is appointed…' however, are happy to leave as is if it is for keyword purposes.
Careful thought needs to be given to who will be the best person or people to act as your Will Executor. The maximum number of Executors you can appoint is four, however it is common to appoint two people.
What are the Duties of a Will Executor?
If there is a challenge or dispute over your Will, your Executors will be responsible for defending your Will. This is why you must take great care in selecting an appropriate Will Executor.
Can an Executor of a Will be a Beneficiary?
Yes. It is common to do so.
Our experienced Will & Estate Planning Lawyers will walk you through the range of issues that need to be considered when deciding who will receive your assets upon the Execution of your Will.
For example, consideration will need to be given to blended families (where one or both of the parents are in a second relationship). Careful drafting of your Will can ensure that your children and step-children are treated exactly as you wish.
Careful consideration needs to be given to exactly who should be your nominated beneficiary under a superannuation policy or life insurance policy. There will be occasions when a binding nomination is advisable. This is a potentially complex area of estate planning and consideration needs to be given to a variety of factors before you can make an informed decision, which is why our team of Will & Estate Lawyers specialise in the field of Will Execution.
Estranged Family Members
If a member of your immediate family has been estranged from you for a period of time, careful consideration needs to be given when creating a Will. If a family member who has been a dependant of yours has been left out of your Will, that person may have a right to challenge your Will in Court in certain circumstances. A carefully prepared Will might just save the people you leave behind a significant amount of grief and legal expense.
The law provides that your children cannot generally receive their share of your estate until they are at least 18 years of age.
Your Will should stipulate how old you want your children to be when they receive their share of your estate. A failure to do so will entitle the children to receive their share at 18 years if age. There are cases where people want their children to be older before they receive some or all of their share.
Our Will Lawyers can talk you through the key issues that emerge when selecting Will beneficiaries, to ensure you can make an informed decision that you are comfortable with when making your Will.
A Child or Beneficiary Under a Disability
If you have a beneficiary who has a disability or perhaps has a condition which concerns you such as alcoholism, it will be necessary to consider whether a special protective trust should be utilised whilst making you Will.
This means that you can appoint a person whom you trust to manage that beneficiary's share so that the share is not received in one lump sum after the Execution of your Will. For example, it would not be desirable for an alcoholic to receive a significant amount of money from a deceased estate as that could have dire consequences on that person's health.
Storage of Your Will
Your Will is one of the most important legal documents you will ever sign in your lifetime. We offer free and secure storage of your will in our Safe Custody facility.
For a free initial telephone discussion with an experienced Wills and Estates Lawyer, telephone our Brisbane office (07) 3236 9169 or complete the case review form on this page.