One (if not the most important) thing that you must consider including in your will is a residue clause. The residue clause is vital as it deals with all the leftover estate assets after the debts are paid and gifts have been given. The residue clause is usually the meatiest clause of the will as it usually deals with the majority of the assets. It is very unusual to list out every single household or collectable item a deceased may have as these items may not exist at the time of death. By utilising a residue clause, you can ensure that all your assets will be protected when you pass.
At Adams & Partners Lawyers, we always recommend the use of a residue clause. Without the proper use of the clause a will maker will leave themselves open to the risk of passing intestate. If a deceased passes intestate, they leave themselves open to the major assets of the estate being passed to individuals they may have wished to exclude.
For example, you may not wish for your property to pass to all your children when you pass. However, if you were to pass intestate the intestacy rules of the Succession Act would come into play and all children would be able to receive a share of the property. This a prime example of how the Succession Act in New South Wales can be brutal to a will maker who does not understand the importance of a residue clause.
Whilst residue clauses may not be the sexiest of clauses, they are in our eyes the most valuable. Without the humble residue clause, you would be unable to safeguard your entire estate. Most people who use a will kit or draft their own wills often forget to use these clauses, which leads to a messy estate. That is why we recommend that you review your will at least once every year to make sure it still reflects your wishes. In the event that it does not, we recommend that you speak to a professional wills and estates lawyer to ensure you are protected.
At Adams & partners Lawyers, we will always take the time to make sure that you understand your will and feel comfortable with the level of protection it offers.
Written By Cameron Spanner.