Are You Buying Or Investing In Property?…Don’t Forget To Change Your Will!
The excitement of buying your first property, or any property, can be overshadowed by the work involved. Looking and finding the property you want… Making an offer and your offer being accepted… Meetings with the bank to organise finance…. Meetings with your solicitor to sign Contracts and mortgage documents…Last minute property inspections to ensure the property is in good condition….Ensuring Settlement Day goes to plan… Moving in or arranging for tenants for the property…
In all the excitement and stress, it is very easy to overlook an important part of buying property, the need to change your Will, or even make your first Will, to protect your new asset in the event of your death.
Changing your Will on buying your property, allows you to choose what happens with your property after you die. Whether it is to be gifted to your spouse, children or family, so that they can remain living in the property. Whether it is to be sold and how the proceeds from the sale of the property are to be divided between your beneficiaries. Whether there are any people who have a claim on your Estate that you do not wish to benefit and the reasons for this decision.
The consequences if you don’t change your Will after buying a property, will depend on whether you have an existing Will, or the wording of your existing Will. In either situation, you run the risk of dying intestate, or having a partial, intestacy in your Will, in relation to your property. Intestate is defined in the Succession Act, as a person who dies and either does not have a Will or leaves a Will but does not dispose effectively in their Will with all or part of their property.
A person who dies intestate leaves their Estate to be dealt with in accordance with the intestacy rules, set out in the Succession Act. This means that your entire Estate, or part of your Estate, being your property, will be gifted according to statutory rules to people you may not wish to benefit from your Estate. This includes spouses, de facto partners, children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, parents and other relatives. In today’s day of blended families and changes in family relationships there may be a wide range of people who are entitled to receive a benefit from your Estate under the intestacy rules. These may not be the people that you wish to benefit from your Estate.
So, on the list of jobs to do when buying a new property, is make a Will, or update your existing Will. It’s just as important as signing that Contract for Sale.
If you need advice on making a Will or updating your existing Will to reflect a change in your assets, such as the purchase of a new property, you need to seek legal advice from an Expert Wills & Estates Lawyer. You need to speak to the expert lawyers at Sydney Wills Lawyers on making a Will to reflect your ownership of your property. We specialise in Wills & Estate Law and pride ourselves on our open and honest communication with client’s.
By Graeme Heckenberg – Sydney Will Lawyer – Expert Litigation Lawyer – Will Disputes, Contesting Wills, Challenging Wills and Probate expert for over 25 years.