A question we get asked often is 'how do our loved ones know to contact Legal Essentials should something happen to us?'. Unfortunately, there is no magic way that they know to. It depends on you as the Will maker to inform your loved ones and specifically the people you have named as Executors in your Will of the whereabouts of your Will.
The most common practice for clients is to store their original Will with their lawyers once signed. The clients will receive either electronic or hard copies of their signed documents. It is highly recommended that you store a copy of your documents at home and have your lawyer's information easily accessible. While your Executors and family members do not need to know the contents of your Will documents, it would be strongly advisable to let them know that you have a Will in place, and it is stored with your lawyer and to contact your lawyer should you die.
The second most common question is 'how will my Executors know what my assets are?'. If you have an accountant or financial advisor you commonly deal with, it is best to have their details saved with that of your lawyers. They would have a good understanding of what your asset structure is and provide your Executors with a starting point. The next step would be to have either a folder or a USB (if you want to keep things paperless) securely stored at home, that is clearly labelled and has the important asset information. This should include, but not limited, to the following details -
- Copy of your Will.
- Details of your lawyer.
- Details of your accountant and/or financial advisor.
- Property ownership details, including where they can locate the original Certificate of Title.
- Bank account details, specifically bank name, BSB and account number.
- Details of any shares and investments. Including SRN and HIN numbers.
- Life insurance details, including provider and account number.
- Superannuation details, including fund and member number.
- Details of any businesses or trusts that you are involved with and where they can locate copies of trust deeds and company constitutions.
Should you have any questions about the above or would like to schedule a time to discuss your own estate planning matters please contact Legal Essentials.