Kiwis are optimistic by nature, but life surely knows how to throw a curve ball. Although we don't like thinking about it, we could, put simply, die before our time. Not much we can do about that. We can, however, get things sorted financially.
If you own a house, have life insurance, are a KiwiSaver member or have a savings account – it is best to decide who should get all the things you have worked hard for. If not, the law will decide for you.
Who gets what if you don't have a Will? There is a basic order of priority that is set out by the law and is dependent on what family members survive you.
Scenario 1 - You are survived by a spouse or partner and have no children
If you have no children, but your parents are still alive; your spouse or partner will receive all your personal chattels, the first $155,000 of your estate and a 2/3 share of the rest of your estate. The remaining 1/3 of your estate will then go to your parents.
Scenario 2 - You are survived by a spouse or partner and children
Your spouse or partner will receive all your personal chattels, the first $155,000 of the estate and a 1/3 share of the rest of your estate. In regards to the children, they will receive the remaining 2/3 of your estate.
Scenario 3 - You are survived by your children and have no spouse or partner
In this case, all your estate would be distributed to your children.
Scenario 4 - You have no spouse or partner or children
Your estate would go to your parents. If you have no surviving parents, your estate would go to your grandparents, or if none, then to your aunts and uncles. If none of these relatives can be found, your estate would then go to the state.
By having a Will, you can also leave in writing who you want to look after your children, or things like if you want to be cremated or buried. Yes, this is not something pleasant to think about, but wouldn't you want a say?
You can set up a Will via some online websites for a cheaper price – but do your research first. If online is not your thing, you can expect to pay around $150. Surely, this is just a small price to make sure your money ends up in the right hands.