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Will you or won’t you?

The team at Masterton Public Trust are encouraging people to get their wills and power of attorney in order this holiday season to prevent difficulties cropping up later down the line.

According to Public Trust research, only half of New Zealanders have organised their wills.

Public Trust team lead in Masterton Ivan de Fanti said the holiday season was the perfect time to have a conversation with family members while many are gathered in the same space.

“The importance of a will is paramount,” de Fanti said.

“The holiday season is a good time for families because they get together and reconnect.

“Talking about death and finances is difficult, but bring it up carefully and just be open and honest.”

A will is a legal document setting your wishes for your assets, and it can also include what you would like to happen to any young children or pets.

A will is recommended for anyone with assets valued at over $15,000 because any estates under that amount aren’t required to be processed through the courts.

Without a will, assets will go first to a partner or spouse, then children, then parents and then siblings.

De Fanti said there were often circumstances which complicated the situation.

“We had an estate where the father had passed away and left his estate to his three children,

“One daughter had previously passed away, and his will made a provision for that, where that share went to her children.

“If there had been no will, her children wouldn’t have benefited.”

He said people of any age were encouraged to make arrangements.

“Through getting this sorted, it’s far less painful for the family later on and there are no questions about what the willmaker would have wanted with the estate.”

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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