Estate Planning – What Is It And Why Is It Necessary?
For people living in the south Auckland area, it is important to talk to a Manukau estate planning lawyer. Below we will look at why that is important.
What Is Estate Planning?
In simple terms, estate planning is the process of deciding what and how much you will leave in your estate, and to whom. For example, you may want to leave your legacy to your children or your surviving spouse. It also includes the process of having those wishes documented correctly in the form of a Will and having it witnessed by a qualified Manukau estate planning lawyer.
Why Do You Need Estate Planning?
If you die without having a legal will in place, it is known as being intestate. In this case, under the Administration Act, your estate will be distributes to your spouse and immediate family. Normally, this is what most people do but you may want to include a charity, other people, a particular organisation, and many other options. If these are not included in your Will, then they will not be beneficiaries of your estate.
You might also have a preference for your funeral arrangements, guardianship of children, or donating organs. If these are not included in a will or you do not have a will, then these will not happen.
Some Problems Of Not Having A Will
The biggest problem for most people is that their legacy may not be passed to those people or organisations that they care about. The immediate family and surviving spouse will most likely be taken care of but other intended beneficiaries will not be. They will also find it very difficult to make a claim.
In other situations, if you have remarried and that new spouse has children, your estate, could include them as well as your own children. You may be happy with this but in many cases, people might prefer that only their biological children are beneficiaries. You can of course, leave a specified amount to your spouse’s natural children rather than an equal share.
A big issue for many is that if you have no surviving relatives and you die intestate, your estate will pass to the State.
Another problem is the cost and difficulty of dealing with an intestate legacy. If you do not have a will, the administrative issues become much more complex and drawn out. That of course also means much more expense which results in a smaller estate for your survivors.
Who Needs Estate Planning?
Everyone is the simple answer.
If you die intestate, you lose control of how your legacy is distributed.
It also increases the financial and emotional cost at a time of grief and existing distress. Your family does not deserve that in their time of difficulty.
If your estate is relatively modest and your wishes are simple such as leaving all of your assets to your surviving spouse, then having it administered under the Act is not likely to change the beneficiaries. What will change is the time and cost to execute that.
However, if your total assets and ownership are complex such as multiple houses, shareholdings and other holdings, then you will certainly benefit from having a Will drawn-up by a qualified estate planning lawyer in Manukau.
Why You Need A Manukau Estate Planning Lawyer
In simple terms, you need a Will. Period.
Without one, your wishes may not be taken care of. Your family will have a much more difficult and expensive time working towards the settlement of your estate.
Your legacy may even end up going to the State!
It is never too early to talk to a qualified Manukau estate planning lawyer.
McVeagh Fleming in Manukau City is a law firm with experienced lawyers who can help you.