Can I make my own Will?

October 18, 2020

Wills

Creating a Will

Can I make my own Will?

Even if you think your life is simple and you don’t own many assets, you should still have a Will. It can feel like a big deal to go and see a lawyer, so more people are asking, ‘Can I make my own Will?’ There’s a simple answer, but it turns out the question is quite complicated.

Why do I need a Will?

                   

                                                                                                                                               

         

Firstly, everyone should have a Will. A Will sets out what you would like to happen to your assets and possessions after you’ve passed away. Which family members would you like to provide for? Are there any charities you would like to leave money to? A Will can also include special instructions for your funeral, and who you would like to look after your children.

The reason everyone needs a Will, is that in the event of your death, all of your assets do not automatically go to your partner or children. If you die without a Will, the government steps in and uses a formula to divide up your assets.

Even if you have told your family or loved ones what you would like to happen after you pass away, without a Will, they will have to go to court and persuade a judge to allow them to administer your estate.

That’s a lot of time, money and heartache you can avoid at an already difficult time, if you simply make a Will.

Why do I need a lawyer to make a Will?

A Will is a formal legal document. Previously, people have needed lawyers to draw up their Wills to make sure they are valid and legally binding. Just writing down what you want to happen on a scrap of paper won’t be accepted in court.

A Will must be signed and witnessed, so everyone knows these are your true wishes and that a disgruntled family member hasn’t made your Will up.

In most cases, Wills are held by lawyers once they are created for safe keeping. After you’ve passed away, the lawyer contacts the people named in your will as the executors. The executors are the people you trust to carry out your wishes as you’ve set them out in your Will.

The popular movie scene of the lawyer reading the Will aloud to the grieving family is Hollywood fiction. However, the lawyer looking after your Will will contact the executors to discuss your Will and to make sure they understand it. This is why it’s common to involve lawyers when you need to create a Will.

Why don’t people have Wills

If Wills are such important documents, and they can save family members from going through an ordeal with the New Zealand Court system, why doesn’t everyone have a Will?

The truth is, some people are intimidated by lawyers. For many people, your first interaction with a lawyer might be after the death of a family member, or maybe because you’ve bought your first home.

Being straight with you for just a second, we know people can be intimidated by lawyers in New Zealand. People can be afraid of how much it’s going to cost, and lawyers in general have a reputation for being expensive. Plus you have to make an appointment to go in and see your lawyer. In Christchurch in particular, finding a park outside the office of an inner-city legal firm can be a nightmare. Getting a Will can be a hassle and it feels easy to put off. This is where Lawhub is different.

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Can I make my own Will?

Even if you think your life is simple and you don’t own many assets, you should still have a Will. It can feel like a big deal to go and see a lawyer, so more people are asking, ‘Can I make my own Will?’ There’s a simple answer, but it turns out the question is quite complicated.

Wills
October 18, 2020