‘Am I too young to write a will?’ It’s one of the questions we get a lot, and this isn’t unexpected given that almost half the population of New Zealand doesn’t have a will.
We put the question to our friends at Footprint (New Zealand's largest online will provider) to get you the best advice possible. Here’s what they said.
‘Having a will is like writing the final chapter of your story. Without one, people won’t know what happens to everything you’ve worked your entire life towards. It gives you the perfect opportunity to say who gets what of your important stuff. Whether you have something specific you’d like to give to your mother, father, best friend, partner or charity - a will can outline any specific gift requests after you’re gone. For young people, it might seem a little strange to think of getting a will now, but there is a vast history of people who are no longer with us that thought they still had plenty of time to get things sorted later. Getting a will is only a little about us and more about the massive difference it makes to the people we leave behind.
The legal age to get a will in New Zealand is 18 years young. Wills are not just for those with kids and a house - you also need a legal will if you have a KiwiSaver account worth over $15,000. Additionally many employers now provide life insurance to employees (called group life insurance), because this and KiwiSaver are considered a personal asset (something that can only be owned by one person) it means that it is going to need a will to ensure these funds go to the person you intended them to go to.
Why the $15k you ask! Well, once something reaches a value of $15,000 it’s considered an asset by law. If you die without a will, your family would have to apply to the courts to gain access to any of these funds/assets. Contrary to popular belief, your assets may not be automatically given to the person or people you consider to be the “obvious” choice. It’s not nice to think about but if your story does end before you expected to and you don’t have a Will but do have a total asset value worth $15,000 or more then it will like cost your loved ones a few thousand more just to have access to your stuff (aka assets). Spending $100 on a will today saves thousands of dollars later. Worth it we reckon!’
If you’d like to leave a legacy that’ll help children in need, contact the friendly ChildFund team at 0800 808 822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t yet have a will you can write one with Footprint today, and guarantee around-the-clock digital access to your will and supportive documents.
For a confidential and obligation-free chat with a very friendly and helpful ChildFund team member, call on 0800 808 822 to discuss your legacy for children in need.