The necessary ingredients for a Will that ticks all the right boxes. Remember, there are some ingredients that are optional, some can be measured differently and the wishes for each individual will be as desired.
We all have one or two (maybe more!) treasured family recipes that we hold dear. Just the thought of that special recipe ignites your senses and conjures fond memories of childhood. Yum, yum! The smell of Nanny’s special jam centred biscuits or Nanna Mollie’s traditional baked dinner. There’s nothing quite like it.
Similarly, there’s nothing quite like a Coutts carefully drafted Will with that extra cherry on top!
My Mum’s famous sausage roll recipe is the talk of the town, but… I’m sure your Mum’s might be too?
Much like Mum’s sausage rolls, each Will is different but is the best of its kind for the will-maker. This is where the Coutts Family Recipe makes all the difference with achieving your intentions and detailing your unique wishes. Each individual family has its own network, its own highs and its own struggles.
“Well, what are the ingredients?”, I can hear you ask.
1 Teaspoon of Revocation
Foremostly, the recipe calls for an appetizing revocation clause. This is the crucial ingredient to ensuring that your intentions, as prepared in this Will, are the wishes that are carried out.
1 to 3 Tablespoons of Organisation
1 to 3? Why the variation? Well, much like ‘wine to taste’ in your Spaghetti Bolognese… The rule of executors is similar – to taste. We would usually recommend having three executors for that nice balance. Where one executor is unwilling or unable to act, the next executor can provide that added punch and so on. However, it is entirely dependent on your individual situation. This ingredient is specifically added to ensure that your executor(s) is empowered to undertake the roles which full under the umbrella of ‘executor’ and most importantly properly carry out your wishes.
2 Cups of Fairness
Fairness – what is your idea of fairness? Are you and your partner married, own your home and are yet to have children? Are you single and have a close family who you hold dear? Do you have 3 children, 4 chickens, a dog, a cat and a turtle!?
2 cups of fairness will go a long way in your Coutts Family Will. Most often the equal splitting of assets among children is the starting point for a standard (but perfectly seasoned) Will. These two cups of fairness allow for specific gifts and three or more tiers of beneficiaries – where if one beneficiary does not benefit then it will pass to the next.
A lot of side pieces make up fairness in your Will and must be carefully curated. Real property can be one of those little chilli ‘kickers’, that packs a real punch. If you own property with a friend or partner, we must consider how you hold that property whether jointly or as tenants in common and add in a ‘cup’ or two specifically entailing this, dependent on your response.
1 Cup of Trust
When we say ‘trust’ in this recipe we mean a trust fund. A trust will be optional in your Will dependent on the age and capacity of your beneficiaries. If your beneficiaries are minors, you may wish for your executor to set up a trust fund for the benefit of your minor beneficiaries when they reach a certain age. Most often people feel the age of 21 is the best time to release the trust monies to the beneficiary. Again, this is optional and perhaps your beneficiary may need their gift sooner.
1 Tablespoon of Guardianship
Guardians of Minor children is a further necessary ingredient if you have young children. Is there a person(s) who you trust and would prefer your child(ren) to live with if something happened to you and your partner? This tablespoon of guardianship is a suggestion of who you would like to step into your shoes.
A Sprinkle (or more) of Kindness
We all know kindness goes a long way! We also know that sometimes family recipes do not use metric measurements, but instead come in sprinkles and handfuls.
Our Coutts Family Recipe allows for a sprinkle, a dash or handfuls of charitable gifts – at your direction. If you have a charity which you commonly donate to and care greatly about we can add specific directions to gift a sum of money towards the support of their hard work.
1 Tablespoon of Funeral Wishes (optional and as preferred)
Hesitant to spoil or cooking flow, I was apprehensive of including this last ingredient. However, I find this ingredient provides peace of mind for me particularly. Now, I know it’s not something we often think about, nor want to think about and it is completely optional. The option to have your funeral wishes included in your Will is something that can help take a hint of pressure off your family when deciding which decision to make. If you have a special place, religious belief or have dedicated your life to a specific scientific study, your Will can be customised to direct your family or loved ones to attend a place which you hope they will sit at and remember you.
Once you have sat down with the Head Chef of your Will at Coutts, with your ingredients carefully selected and portioned out, we blend them all seamlessly together. The decisions of what specific portions of each ingredient is required in your will can be tricky. Wills are not always straight forward, ‘cookie cutter’ recipes and often require these key ingredients to be pondered on and tweaked. Much like Mum’s pavlova recipe, you need the perfect balance for your Will to stand strong once out of the oven and ready to top with fresh fruits and passionfruit syrup.
Passion fruit syrup? Well, that’s the last ingredient that goes on top of your pavlova! This special ingredient is all in the art of finalising your Will. You will require two independent witnesses, both over the age of eighteen, who use the same coloured pen and know exactly where to sign on that dotted line.
The Coutts Family Will has an indefinite shelf life! It will be stored for you in a safe and secure place where no pesky ants can attack. If drafted and executed following the Coutts Family Will, it should stay fresh for many years to come. NOTE: As your life changes so should your Will!
ABOUT CHARLOTTE O’CONNOR:
Charlotte is passionate about all things Wills & Estate Planning. She believes that having your estate planning in order creates peace of mind. This peace of mind drives Charlotte as she feels a sense of pride in affording people the power to have their wishes met.
Charlotte’s warmth and friendly nature enable her clients to feel at ease – particularly in the ‘new age’ of legal services where her openness is able to transcend video conferencing and telephone appointments.
Contact our Campbelltown Lawyers today.
This blog is merely general and non specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.