Did you know: why you should have a will
We ask Matt Sale, Retail General Manager at Public Trust, to tell us who should have a will and why they’re important. Public Trust is New Zealand’s oldest trustee services organisation specialising in estate planning and management.
"I don’t need a will."
This is a statement we hear all too often, and is reflected by the fact that more than 60 per cent of New Zealanders aged between 35 and 55 years old don’t have a will.
When we explore this a bit more, we find that people either haven’t got around to it or don’t see any urgency to get a will. Many people also believe they don’t have enough assets to need one, or would prefer to avoid a conversation about death and their final wishes.
So who needs a will?
The general rule of thumb is that anyone over 18 years old with more than $15,000 in assets and/or children should get a will. Assets aren’t limited to what we would think of as ‘traditional’ property either - for example, if you or someone you know has $15,000 held in KiwiSaver then it’s time to consider getting a will.
Why are wills important?
Much like a life insurance policy, a will is a way of making sure the people and things that matter most to you are taken care of after you’re gone. A will lets you:
- define how you’d like your estate managed;
- nominate testamentary guardians for children under 18;
- outline any assets and valuables you own; and
- it removes the guesswork for those left behind.
You can also record your funeral, burial or cremation wishes, make bequests to individuals or charitable organisations, and capture requests concerning sentimental jewellery, art works, family heirlooms or even the care of a beloved pet.
Make sure your will is up-to-date.
If you have already got a will in place that’s great news – but when was the last time it was updated? Have your circumstances changed since then? Did you get married, re-married or divorced? Have you welcomed a new child or grandchild to the family? If you answered yes to any of these, then it might be time to get your will updated.
Getting a will is easy.
A will is an important part of your estate plan and while it can be tempting to put it off, getting one in place or updating one is easier than you might think. If you’re not sure where to start, the Public Trust are happy to help. Give them a call on 0800 371 371 or visit www.publictrust.co.nz.
Disclaimer: The information published in this article is provided by Public Trust and is not financial advice. At Fidelity Life, we try hard to make the information we publish accurate and helpful to you, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy and we aren’t liable for any action you take as a result.