Where there’s a will there’s a way

Writing your Will is perhaps one of the easiest things to put off, yet it’s also one of the easiest documents to put in place. Since Wills typically protect those closest to us – telling everyone what should happen to our money, possessions and property after we die – they deserve to be prioritised and not left at the bottom of the to-do list.

According to Sorted, less than half of adults in NZ have a Will, which means some of us could be leaving our families with a huge mess when we pass away. Writing a Will shows responsibility, it means you are taking control of your life and thinking long-term about your family and loved ones.

The UC Foundation (the charitable arm of the University) recognises the importance of Wills and has recently partnered with Justly to provide a fee-free Will writing service for all UC staff. Yep, you read that correctly, this service will be free of charge – no strings, no hidden conditions, and best of all, your Will can be written from the comfort of your own home whenever it suits you.

If you think you don’t need a Will because joint property will go to your partner and kids anyway, you may want to reconsider your position. It can get even more complicated when you’ve had multiple relationships throughout your life, as often happens in our modern day. Here are a few facts worth knowing:

  • When you get married, the Will you wrote before marriage is no longer valid.
  • If you die without a Will, the government will use a formula to divide up your assets.
  • The last Will you signed – even if it’s out of date – will be the one used if you die.
  • Wills are not just about what you leave to people – they can also identify the person you want to look after your children and/or who you want to disinherit.
  • If you die intestate (without a Will) the people you care about most may not be looked after. It often takes a long time and a lot of money to resolve matters, causing extra distress for your loved ones during their time of grief.
  • The ability to make charitable gifts is a good reason to have a Will because it allows your legacy to live on and reflect your personal values and interests.

To get started writing your free Will just click here under the ‘Online Will-writing section’.

If you need a little more convincing…please read on.

Most people use excuses like: making a Will is too complicated, too expensive, I haven’t got anything, I don’t have time, I’ll do it when I get a better job, I’ll do it when I’m married or buy a house… In reality, the right time to get a Will is as soon as you turn 18!

Wills are not just for the rich and wealthy. Regardless of how much or how little money you have, a Will ensures that whatever personal belongings and assets you do have will go to family and/or the beneficiaries you designate.

Everyone should have a Will, but it’s especially important if you have children. A Will ensures that you get to choose your children’s legal guardian should you die before your children are of legal adult age. Without a Will, a court makes these decisions on your behalf, among others, through a lengthy and often stressful process called probate. Few people plan to die in the near future, but if you die suddenly without a Will, you will inadvertently subject your family and loved ones to unnecessary confusion and anxiety at what is already a difficult time.

To read more about Justly feel free to click here, or to find peace of mind, do the right thing and get started with your own Will click here.

Feel free to also read on about the UC Foundation and how it provides opportunities for individuals and organisations to support the educational mission of the university through donations, bequests, sponsorships and partnerships.

Alternatively, email kathryn.marshall@canterbury.ac.nz or call 03 369 5530 for a chat.