When I got pregnant, I knew I finally had to face up to something I was overdue for; writing a will.
I'm only 32 (33 on Saturday, happy birthday to me) but, frankly, I'm already years behind on this issue.
This isn't a declaration that I'm rich, although I am a homeowner, which is another life milestone that should have prompted me to write a will.
But I needed one even before that. When I was in my early twenties, and pretty broke.
That's because I had a KiwiSaver.
Yes, if you die, your KiwiSaver is part of your estate and will go to your loved ones. But it might not be split how you expect if you don't have a will.
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Then there are the sentimental items to think about, that the law has no idea how to handle without a will.
Do you have jewellery that's precious to you, and you'd like to go to someone in particular?
What about a car? Do you want it to go to a car-enthusiast friend or maybe to your mum, who could do with one?
Do you have a few thousand dollars in savings, which you know it isn't a fortune but could help your brother get through university?
In all of these situations, you need a will.
That's because, if you get hit by a bus and die without one, you leave behind a mess that could only add to the grief of your loved ones.
Any cash gets split between your parents, partner and children, depending on your marital status and how dependant each party is on you.
That split in itself may not go the way that you expect. But it also doesn't give many answers on what should happen to your "stuff", leaving grieving people to figure it out themselves.
It will also have to work through the court system, which can take a long time without a will, and delay closure to your loved ones.
Add in one relative, who you haven't seen in years and who wants to challenge the will ... well, now you have an extra mess on your hands.
No relatives, but people that you're close to? Or you simply want to leave what you have to a charity?
Then you really, definitely need a will. If you die without one, and have no relatives, everything you own goes to the State. No thanks.
It's all a bit grim really, and none of us want to think about dying. But when I think about setting up a will, I think of it as a last gift I can give to my loved ones, to ease some of the burden of grief.
The best way to set up a will is to go and see a lawyer. Before you write that off as too expensive, there are still levels that allow you to do this within a budget.
You can, of course, consider a DIY will kit. It will get you started, and is legally binding.
But I wouldn't stop there - I would still strongly suggest you get a lawyer to check it over.
Wills can be challenged after your death, and a good lawyer will know how to head that off to cause minimal headaches. A DIY kit won't do that.
Have a child who you haven't spoken to in years, and would rather not leave anything to? Families are complicated, and people can have good reasons for wanting to do this.
But it's very easy for a child to challenge their parent's will, and I've heard some horror stories about situations like this dragging out in court for years.
A lawyer once told me that they recommended clients leave a token amount to their child in this situation, along with a justification of why the lesser amount. It made the will stronger, and more likely to be followed after death.
There are all sorts of other grey areas, and it's best to get them hammered out ahead of time.
You can also go to a lawyer from the beginning if that's in your budget, and sort out the whole thing under their guidance.
Do be careful of some organisations that promise a cheap price for writing the will while you're alive, but include in the contract a big fee for administering your estate once you've died. Some of them will charge your loved ones like a wounded bull.
Not fair, or ethical, in my view. Check the terms and conditions.
A personal recommendation is always worth its weight in gold, but if you don't know of anyone, it's easy enough to create a shortlist from online resources.
The Law Society has a handy database that lets you search for lawyers by region, and area of expertise. You can even refine down to what languages they speak.
Get in touch with the firm and check how long they've been practicing, how they've helped other people in similar situations to you, and importantly, how much they charge.
Personally, I'll be heading along to a lawyer before bubs makes an appearance, just to make sure that if something happens to me, husband and baby at least don't have to worry about losing the house.
Then it'll be ticked off the list, and we can get back to converting the spare room into a nursery.
Anyone need a secondhand queen-size bed?
This column is general information only, and not individual financial advice.
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