In this article by Priscilla Dickinson from Newshub, I explain why you should update your Will following a separation.

 

Getting your last wishes on paper is the only way to ensure that, should you die, the things you own end up where you want them to go.

According to the Commission for Financial Capability, over half of Kiwis don’t have a will.  Research by the Public Trust in June and July shows there’s a common misconception that if you’re married or in a relationship, you don’t need your own will and that it would still be valid if the partners were to separate.

Glenys Talivai, chief executive of Public Trust said that regardless of relationship status, each person needs their own will and it should be updated if the relationship changes.

“A will is still valid after a legal divorce, but anything assigned to [the] ex-partners in the will becomes void.

“If you enter a new marriage after a will is made, it will usually revoke any will you wrote previously, Talivai added.

Experts say that from a legal perspective, anyone with $15,000 or more, including funds in KiwiSaver, should have a will.

Your will doesn’t just take care of where the big assets should go: you can also specify the guardian for children, preferences around your funeral and cremation or burial, management of social media accounts and who would look after pets.

Why have a will?

A will gives you the opportunity to choose where you want your assets and possessions to go and how things will be taken care of.

Even if you don’t own a home or other assets, a will lets you ringfence personal items and decide who they will go to, for example, a ring inherited through the family.

Who should have a will?

Talivai confirmed that anyone with assets of $15,000 or more (including KiwiSaver savings), should have a will and that every adult should have their own (individual) will, whether they’re in a relationship or not.

Despite this, research from a 2017 Commission for Financial Capability Barometer Survey shows that 74 percent of people aged between 18 and 34 and 51 percent of people aged 35 to 54 don’t have a will.

 

This article was first published on Newshub.