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What does it cost to make a will

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					                 What does it cost to make a will?
    I can answer that question with a question: "What does it cost NOT to make a Will?"
          Think about these cases -             greater likelihood of second marriages,        documentation and answering your
    • Father is just "too busy" to get around   blended families, unexpected assets            questions.
to seeing his solicitor to make a Will. He      (superannuation), the impact of capital        Use this table as a guideline to the
dies unexpectedly. Does his widow get all       gains tax, the prospect of increasing          investment your should make.
his estate? No, she doesn't. His children       claims under the Family Provision Act.         (Service) A will for one person $150 -
(some of whom are adults, others                I could go on and on. But you know             $250 per person.
minors) get more than she does - and the        something. The chances of you taking           Husband and wife making wills at the
minors' share has to be held in trust for       action are remote. Why? Well it comes          same time $250 - $350.
them until their adulthood. Without life        down to the fact that the marketers of         Will and Power of Attorney at the same
insurance (which Dad also didn't get            $14.95 Will Kits want you to believe           time, $200 - $400.
around to taking out) payment of debts and      that Will-making is not highly skilled         Husband and wife Wills and Power of
division of family assets become a              and, highly responsible work. Or that it       Attorney, $350 - $500.
nightmare.                                      takes long experience, and an intimate         For no charge your lawyer will be happy
    • Simon and Kate die in a tragic car        knowledge of all your affairs, to help         to talk to you about fees and agree
crash on their way to their honeymoon           you achieve your goals and avoid all the       upon a fixed sum before undertaking
destination. They had substantial assets of     hazards. They don't really care about          the work fro you.
their own, as well as a home they had           you and your family. They are not              So you can see for yourself, both the
brought jointly. It is not possible to say      interested in you as a person. All             importance of a Will and just how
which of them died first in the crash.          they want to do is to sell as many Kits        inexpensive it is – relative to the value
Their marriage revoked their Wills. They        as possible.                                   of the assets you lease behind and the
had not made Wills "in contemplation of"            A will is not just a piece of paper        peace of mind for you and the ones
their marriage. Who ends up getting               Let's take this example: Mum and             you love. Don’t delay: Make that vital
what out of their estates?                      Dad work themselves half to death to           appointment now.
    • Tom spends a lifetime building up his     leave their children a thriving business,
assets. He makes a Will but, with typical       unaware that none of their children is
frugality, uses a form obtained from the        interested in carrying on. What is to
local news agency. He thinks he has done        be done?
the right thing divvying up his property        It takes a conference with an
investments between his two sons. But he        experienced lawyer to work out an
has forgotten about the effect of capital       agreement where everyone pitches in
gains tax on estates. One son is                to development and groom the business
disadvantaged because he gets assets            for sale. But sometimes, one of two
which carry a pent-up but unrealised tax        children work in and want the busi-
liability. Later there is a falling-out         ness - and the others don't. Then, it can
between the two brothers. It develops           be better to leave the business to the
into a bitter feud. They never speak to         children who want it and divide the
one another again - except through              rest of the assets among the other chil-
lawyers.                                        dren topped up where necessary with life
   I can hear you saying "These are just        insurance to even things up).
horror stories to try to get me to use a        You should be wary of offers of free Wills.
solicitor to make a Will?"                      There is no such thing as a free Will.        What does it cost to make a Will?
   Too right! They are horror stories - and     There is always some sort of string           Toukley lawyer, Geoffrey Morgan-Smith
they are real! And they should encourage        attached - and it is bound to cost you or     (pictured) argues that price is relative
you to make a Will - and to do it properly.     your family far more than getting an          to value and that the importance of a
Yet I was amazed just how to collect my         independent solicitor to prepare your         properly made Will, for you and your
mail from a major Bank. As a "service to        Will for you.
                                                                                              family, makes it a very worthwhile
members" the Bank offered an irresistible       Where do you go to find a lawyer experi-
                                                                                              Investment.
deal: "Make your will for just $14.95 you       enced in drafting Wills? The answer is
can purchase a do-it- yourself kit with "All    not straightforward. These days, law
the necessary Stationery and documenta-         students can elect not to study the
tion - for the special price of only $14.95     law of Wills and succession. In my day it         Make the right
per kit"                                        was compulsory. Now, a large part of
                                                the complex law of estate administration
                                                                                                 decision - Call our
And that is just totally irresponsible. It
makes about as much sense as a do-              is relegated to post-graduate study.                office now!
it-yourself guide to brain surgery.             What then should you spend on a Will? A
      WHY DO YOU NEED A WILL?
Making a Will is the only way you can en-
                                                Will needs as much time a s it takes
                                                to draft it well. Finding out about you
                                                                                                    GEOFFREY
sure that your assets will b e distrib uted
accord ing to your wishes when you
                                                and your needs seldom takes less than
                                                one hour. After that your Will has to be
                                                                                                  MORGAN-SMITH
die. It takes time and skill to make a          drawn up, checked and made ready for
                                                you to sign. Then it must be gone
                                                                                                              Lawyers
proper Will.
Your Will is just one part of estate            through with you and your questions                    We can help you.
planning - It's the last step along the         answered.                                            38 Canton Beach Rd Toukley
road to preserving your family fortune in       Finally, your Will has to be properly
times of changing social values, high           signed and witnessed, copied and kept                      Ph 4397 2233
taxation, inflation and new laws.               safely.
There is no such thing as the "standard         On average, a will takes between two
Will" - in the same way that there are no       and three hours.
standard people.                                There is no scope to reduce that time
Just think about the complexities of            by skimping on taking your instruction,
modern living. We now have a much               good        drafting,    checking      the

				
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