After welcoming our second child earlier this year I decided it was time to revisit a topic with my husband that has, in my time in the law, continually struck fear into the hearts and minds of even the most seasoned and astute of clients and resulted in some very robust conversations.
Wills. We all know we should have one. We all know it makes good sense to ensure the assets we’ve worked hard for go to our loved ones as intended, yet, more often than not, if I ask a client if they’ve got a current will, after a lot of shuffling in their seat they might say, “I need to get onto that”, “I’ve got one but it’s out of date”, “I don’t want to think about it”, “I won’t be around, they’ll sort it out” or “I don’t have much to leave”.
Perhaps it’s the idea of confronting their own mortality which causes angst or the idea that to talk about such matters invites some sort of bad karma or juju, or maybe it’s just pure unadulterated denial; the simple fact remains that someday we will all die. Apart from the grief your death will no doubt cause for your loved ones, your death will also trigger a series of steps for someone (your Executor if you have a will, your Administrator if you die without a will) to take in finalising your estate. A well-thought-out Will makes that job so much easier and takes the guesswork out of what your wishes would have been; it may also help to avoid unnecessary disputes. For example, if you have kids, appointing a Guardian in your Will may ensure a more smooth transition for your kids at a time they will presumably be grieving. If you have a business, depending on your structure, your Will may ensure business continuity upon your death.
I often say to my clients at our first Wills meeting, “Let’s just talk about it and see where it goes”. Clients aren’t expected to have all of the answers around their estate planning, that’s why they have us as their lawyers, but they do need to be willing to start the conversation.
If you would like to start the conversation about your Wills or estate planning generally, please feel free to contact me on 9612 7295 or at Genevieve.firstname.lastname@example.org