Various do-it-yourself Will kits are available in bookstores and on the internet.
The many changes in the nature of relationships, coupled with the provisions of the Property (Relationships) Act and Civil Union Act mean it is no longer appropriate to suggest that basic Wills drafted without careful consideration of the willmaker’s affairs are acceptable. Many couples do not marry, people are living longer and blended families are increasingly common; many people have established Trusts. These changes have a significant impact on the way people acquire assets and the way in which they deal with them both during their lifetimes and upon death.
A thorough background investigation of your affairs as willmaker should be undertaken by a person qualified to draft an appropriate will for you. Detailed questions should be asked and comprehensive advice should be provided. That advice may include provision of information regarding other documents that may be required as part of an overall package, such as Enduring Powers of Attorney or whether a Trust is appropriate for your requirements.
You should meet with your lawyer when making or revising your Will and you should also consider the following:
- Does the Property (Relationships) Act impact on me?
- Does the Civil Union Act impact on me?
- Do I need a Property Relationship Agreement?
- Do I need a Property Sharing Agreement?
- How does my Will impact on my Trust?
- Do I need a new Trust or Inheritance Trusts for my children?
- Do I need Enduring Powers of Attorney?
- If I am in business do I need a Shareholder Agreement and/or Debenture to protect my investments?
For more information on Wills and the other documents mentioned above please contact Bill Duncan, Cathy Fisher, Tony Fortune or Katherine McCarthy