Drawing up a will is an important step in making sure that your assets are going to be distributed the way you intend for it to be. Meeting with an estate lawyer can make this process easier for you to get all the necessary paperwork and documents arranged.
There are different types of wills suitable for certain situations. Familiarising yourself with the different types of wills and choosing which one is right for you can help your beneficiaries in the future.
Simple wills are short documents, typically only one or two pages long that give pretty straightforward instructions on the distribution of the estate. It is suitable for people with limited assets, are single, and are in their first marriage or are in uncomplicated relationships. Additionally, a simple will is best chosen for cases wherein there is no expectation that it will be contested or disputed.
In a simple will, the person who makes the will appoints an executor to manage their estate. The estate is typically distributed to the spouse and the children from that marriage. This type of will is not suitable for people with blended families and a more considerable asset pool.
As the name suggests, complex wills provide more elaborate details to properly distribute the assets. Complex wills are suitable for people
- with a considerable asset pool that requires estate taxes;
- who want to create special provisions for children in a previous marriage;
- who want to set up a trust for children to receive their inheritance at a specified age;
- who expect their assets to accrue;
- who want to get a joint will with their spouse;
- who own a business.
Complex wills require a longer time to draft than simple wills, as they have to cover more ground, such as trusts, capital gain taxes and control of businesses involved. Complex wills also include contingencies in place in case of unexpected outcomes.
A mutual will form a legally binding contract between spouses. It is suitable for people who have been in previous marriages and have children in those marriages. In a mutual will, there is an assurance that when one spouse passes away, the estate will be properly distributed to their intended beneficiaries. The other spouse will not be able to revoke the will nor disinherit their step-children upon the death of the testator.
Mutual wills are tricky and, in some situations, disputes can arise questioning the wills in the future. Before choosing a mutual will, the testators should first thoroughly discuss with their estate lawyer if this is right for them.
Testamentary Discretionary Trust Wills
The testamentary trusts under this will are going to remain dormant until the testator’s death. In this type of will, there are added advantages such as tax benefits, flexibility and protection of assets.
Because of the scope and flexibility this type of will offers, the document is often lengthy and complex.
An in-depth discussion with an estate lawyer is necessary for drafting any kind of will. Marino Lawyers has extensive knowledge and experience in estate planning. We have offices in Cairns, Port Douglas, Edmonton, and Babinda. For more information, please contact us at (07) 4081 6700.