What you should include in your will

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Your will contains your instructions about what you want done with your property when you die and how you want your dependants to be looked after. A will can relieve financial and emotional strain on your family after your death and help minimise the likelihood of disputes about your estate.

Here are 9 things you should include in your will:

  1. Provide for payment for your liabilities such as mortgages, overdrafts and other debts
  2. Arrange adequate provision for dependants such spouses and children
  3. Specify who you want to inherit personal possessions as well as general assets
  4. Preferred guardians of your children
  5. Specific funeral arrangements if you have special wishes
  6. Wishes regarding organ/tissue donation
  7. If you want to leave a gift for a charity or other organisations
  8. The appointment of executors and beneficiaries
  9. Any other instructions you may have with regard to your will

It is best to consult with a lawyer to ensure you have included everything to make the will legal and dependants are cared for under Family Protection Act.

There are special laws governing who can inherit Māori land. The process is known as succession and it is covered by the Māori Land Act.

You should review your will regularly, especially whenever your circumstances change – if you marry or enter into a civil union or de facto relationship, or when such a relationship ends; if any trustee or significant beneficiary named in the will dies; or if your assets or debts change significantly.

If you need help with estate planning and tax issues that may arise for your business, please contact us.

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