Simplicity is best when planning your will

THIS week is our very own Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Wills Week. It's a week designed to encourage adults to make or update a will while drawing attention to our rescue helicopter service.

Often the key to effective estate planning and making a will is simplicity. If you have blended families or have unusual circumstances, some level of complexity cannot be avoided.

However, having a simple strategy is often the best course of action. A complex will may often make sense when it is written but quickly goes out of date fast. Added to the issue is that the person left behind to administer the estate can be overcome with grief, and the added complexity can make things difficult in deed.

Some of the simplest wills involve leaving all of the estate's assets to the spouse and on the death of the surviving spouse the remaining assets are passed to the children.

While this may not work for all people, it is far the most common way wills are drafted today. If you're not the type of person to be updating your will on a regular basis this simple approach may often work best.

The most often overlooked part of any estate plan is putting in place a simple document or letter outlining where your will is held, and or provides specific instructions to your spouse or children about who to contact or what action points need to be put in place.

This could be the names of superannuation providers, bank accounts and details of legal and financial advisers.

You should review your estate planning needs on a regular basis and in particularly when important events occur such as getting married or divorced, the birth of a new child, the death of a relative or retiring.

Each of these events can be life-changing experiences for you and your family and should prompt you to think about your estate planning needs and objectives.

Estate planning is an important part of your overall financial plan and you shouldn't leave it until it's too late.

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