Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you are never too old to get excited about the magic of this time of year. Even once your children are all grown up and no longer believe in Santa, there is nothing like watching their faces light up when they see what presents have been left for them under the tree.
Opening the following letter on Christmas Day may not have filled young 18 year old Oliver with quite the same level of joy and excitement as unwrapping the latest iPhone or a rad new surfboard, but it is certainly a gift that will last a lifetime …. literally.
A Christmas Letter from “Santa”
25th December 2022
I suspect this is the first time you have received a letter from a lawyer under the Christmas tree. But rest assured, you’re not in trouble with the law for what happened at schoolies a couple of weeks ago. Rather, now you are 18, your parents have engaged me to prepare a Will for you.
Now, making a Will might seem like something just for old people, and in Australia it is often only once people are confronted with their own mortality that they bother dealing with these issues. However, even as a young adult living carefree and at home, you should have a Will to appoint key decision makers to act on your behalf and direct how your property is to be distributed when you die.
Firstly, you have more assets to your name than you think. There is the car you received on your 18th birthday. There is the money in your savings account accumulated through part-time jobs and contributions from your parents and grandparents over the years. There is superannuation. There are unpaid present entitlements owing to you from your parents’ family trust. And there is the share portfolio you received from your Grandmother when she died.
Secondly, if you do not have a Will, you cannot control who receives your assets when you die. The laws of intestacy will provide they go to your parents by default, but it is my understanding that it is actually your siblings you would like to benefit from most of your estate, and that you would like to make some provision for your long-term girlfriend.
Thirdly, there are some personal items you own that may not be worth a lot of money, but have sentimental value, and you would like them to go to particular people when you die. For example, you may want to ensure your gorgeous black Labrador Shadow is looked after by your Aunty. You may want to give the watch you received from your Grandpa to your little brother Henry. And you may want to ensure that decisions about your photos, music and other digital assets are made by your older sister.
Finally, it makes for a much more seamless administration process if you appoint key people you trust to look after your affairs under your Will if you die.
Please accept this gift with the loving intention with which it is given – to give you and your family the peace of mind that if something happens to you, they can carry out your wishes.
I look forward to meeting with you in the New Year to discuss your instructions.
Contact us today to discuss your Will – even if you’ve just turned 18!