The reason for writing up a Will is to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. A Will lets you say how you want your property dealt with when you die. By making a Will you can:
- Protect your loved ones
- Secure your property
- Instruct your family
For example, you can outline how you want your funeral to be carried out, whether you want to be buried or cremated, what happens to your property, how your dependent children will be provided for and what happens to any treasured possessions you may have.
The New Zealand Law Society has an excellent brochure which outlines what a will is and how you can go about making a will – visit their site – New Zealand Law Society
You are entitled to make a Will yourself, however it is best and not expensive to have it completed by a lawyer to ensure that everything is in order and that the Will is properly signed and witnessed. Otherwise, there is a risk of problems with the granting of Probate, or that the legal validity of your Will is challenged at a later date.
To be legally valid your will must be:
- In writing
- Witnessed by two people who are not beneficiaries of the Will
- Signed by the witnesses in your presence, and
- Signed by you (the Will maker).
Dying without a Will
Should you die without a Will, your estate will be divided up by the Administration Act. Dying without a Will is called dying “intestate”. When a person dies without a Will, administering the estate is more complicated than if the person had left one, and due to the complex nature, additional information will be needed to submit to the Court and can cause significant delays in the eventual distribution of the estate assets.
If you’d like to talk to a friendly lawyer and get help with making your Will then give us a call 09 267 2700 or contact us