One of the first things people think about when they consider writing their Will is "So...who's getting my stuff?" In legal terms, 'your stuff' is known as your Residual Estate, and the person or people receiving this treasure trove are known as your beneficiaries. This is a core component of writing a Will, and there are a few things to keep in mind when divvying up your estate.
When you distribute your estate, you need to decide who will be listed as a beneficiary, and what percentage of your remaining fortune they will inherit. With Safewill, we have listed a few pre-populated options, including leaving the estate to your partner, split equally between your partner and each of your children, or split equally between all children. Alternatively, you can choose to specify your own beneficiaries and the proportion of your estate that they will receive.
What should I think about when distributing my estate?
Your residual estate is what is left over after all gifts and debts are paid
Your residual estate is the remainder of your assets after your debts and gifts have been paid. Therefore if you leave a gift, that will be separate from your residual estate, and whoever receives a portion of your estate will receive a portion of your assets, minus the gifts.
For example, if you decide to leave your entire estate to your children, but you gift your house to your partner, your children will receive all of your assets minus your house (which goes to your partner). Likewise, if you have debts such as a credit card debt, your estate will be whatever is left over after these debts have been repaid.
You might consider making provision for any 'dependants' you have
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may have one more 'dependants' - people to whom you have a responsibility to provide for their support and well-being. In order to minimise the chances of your Will being challenged, you may want to consider making provision for any dependant that you have in your will.
This is your last chance to leave a lasting legacy
Keep in mind that this part of your Will deals with your life's work - all that you have managed to accumulate (both assets and debts) over a life well lived. This is your legacy. Many people consider leaving a bequest donation to a charity that has had a positive and meaningful impact upon their life, or who's mission they really believe in. Consider whether this might be appropriate for your situation, and whether there is a charity that you really believe in. We have made this easy by partnering with certain Australian charities, but you can choose any organisation you wish. You can give to a charity either a portion of your estate, or a specific gift (such as an asset or sum of money).