As long as your final Will is signed and witnessed as required, your Footprint Will is legally valid.
You will be sent a Will signing guide alongside your Will, please follow this to make sure that your Will is valid.
The short answer: YES.
The slightly longer answer: A Will isn’t just about setting things up for your children after you’re gone – it’s about ensuring your legacy goes to the people/organisations you want it to go to. It might be as simple as leaving a few hundred dollars to your favourite charity and the rest to your parents; or dividing your things between your best mates. By having a Will you can ensure your personal things go to the people you want.
People often overlook assets that they would have liked to go to someone special, after their death. What about your treasured guitar, personal jewellery or KiwiSaver money? Writing a Will gives you the opportunity to decide what you want to happen when you are gone.
If you don’t have a Will, the Laws of Intestacy apply. Under this law your estate is divided up in a set way, for example:
· If there is a spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner, but no children, then everything goes to the spouse/partner;
· If there is a spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner, and children, the spouse or partner takes all the personal chattels, a prescribed amount (currently $155,000) and one third of the rest, and the children take the other two thirds;
· If there is no spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner, the deceased's children take everything in equal shares;
· If there is no spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner, or any children, but one or both parents are alive then everything goes to them;
· If there are no spouses, civil union partners, or de facto partners, children or parents, the deceased's brothers and sisters take everything in equal shares.
And if you have no family, your estate may simply end up going to the Government!
Footprint is designed to help you take control of your future by letting you get your Will sorted online, in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
But is it the right option for you?
Generally, a Footprint Will is likely to be a great fit if you want to:
· Tailor your Will to your needs;
· Make special gifts (bequests) to people or charities close to your heart;
· Ensure your family is taken care of, no matter if you’re remarried, a step-parent or are in another ‘blended’ situation.
However, there are some circumstances where making a face-to-face, consultation-based Will is going to be the better option for you.
If you tick any of these boxes, we suggest you get in touch with Perpetual Guardian:
· You intend to divide your assets unequally between your children;
· You’re a business owner;
· You’ve got a farm;
· Your family has issues (e.g. a relative suffers from addiction, or you want to disinherit a close family-member); or
· You’ve got an existing Family Trust.
The executor of a Will performs an important role in making sure your wishes are carried out. Your executor can be anyone who is of sound mind and over the age of 20, whether they are a family member, close friend, or a professional advisor such as Perpetual Guardian. Find out more about choosing your executor here.
Keeping your Will up-to-date is important. The last Will you signed, even if it’s many years old, is the one used when you pass away. You should also know that when you get married, the Will you wrote before your marriage is no longer valid (unless it was written in contemplation of marriage). Similarly, unless you have an official marriage dissolvent and you separate from your partner, your Will does not change - which means your ex could be entitled to more than you’d want if you don’t update your Will in time.
Luckily, updating your Will is simple with Footprint. We will send you a reminder every 12 months with instructions how to change anything if necessary.
Making your Will with Footprint starts at $100. If your situation is complex, and you require expert advice to help complete your Will, extra charges may apply.
Our sister company Perpetual Guardian charges a scale rate of commission for their executor role and administering the estate based on the gross value of the estate assets. Please see their fees page here.
Sometimes life is particularly complicated, or Footprint simply isn’t your cup of tea. We recommend you talk to a specialist like Perpetual Guardian, who will be able to help you get your Will sorted. You can find their details on this contact page.
This depends on how your policy is written. If you’ve named the beneficiary (the person who receives the funds when you die) in your policy, then your life insurance is paid directly to that person and doesn’t form part of your estate. If you haven’t named a beneficiary on your policy, the proceeds of your life insurance will form part of your remaining estate.
An Advisory Trustee doesn’t have the same legal obligations and responsibilities as your Executor. However, they’re able to advise or be asked for input by your chosen executor on any decisions made in your Will.
After this 14 day period you can simply purchase a new Footprint Will – the creation of a new Will automatically invalidates any existing Wills.
If you don’t gift your car (or any other specific assets) in your Will, it forms part of your remaining estate. The default is for your car to be sold. However, the decision on whether your car is sold and the funds distributed as per your remaining estate, or the car is gifted to a beneficiary as is, will be up to your executor.
Yes they can. However, it’s a good idea to keep the beneficiaries of your estate and the executor separate.
No you don’t. If you own property jointly (not as tenants in common) the rules of survivorship apply, which means if you were to die before your spouse, and you owned a property jointly, the property will automatically become their property and will not form part of your estate.
Any Will, whether written using an online tool or by a lawyer, can be challenged by people who feel they have missed out in some way. The best way to reduce this risk is to ensure you have talked to your family about your Will and what’s included beforehand. That way they aren’t caught by surprise.
If you feel your circumstances are particularly complicated, we suggest you talk to a specialist at a trustee company like Perpetual Guardian.