What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document that sets out who you want to receive your assets after you pass away.

Why do I need a Will?

Making a Will is the only way you can ensure your assets will be distributed according to your wishes when you pass away. The handling of your estate after your death will potentially be more time consuming and costly without a Will.

What happens if I die without a Will?

If you die without a Will your estate will be distributed according to a statutory pre-determined formula with family members receiving an allocated percentage despite what you would have wanted. In some cases some or even all of your estate may pass to the government.

What about jointly held property?

Your will does not cover your property if it is held as “joint proprietors (as opposed to “tenants in common”) as it will automatically pass to the surviving joint owner. So for example if you and your spouse own your house in joint names then your spouse will become the sole owner irrespective of the[…]

What about Superannuation?

Most superannuation funds allow you to execute a “Binding Nomination” nominating a beneficiary who will be paid directly by the super fund without the need for it to form part of your estate (subject to certain limitations). You will need to contact your superannuation fund directly to organise this.

Can I prepare my own Will?

There is no requirement that a Solicitor draft your Will. However, drafting your Will yourself is not advisable. There have been many cases where homemade Wills were deemed invalid or unclear and many of these cases ended up in the Court system for years, causing distress and financial hardship to the family of the deceased.[…]

When should my Will be updated?

It is advisable to regularly review your will as circumstances change in your life so that it reflects your current wishes. Situations where you may want to, or have to update your will include: Marriage; Separation or divorce; Starting or ending a de facto relationship; Birth of children or grandchildren; Your children have married or[…]

Can someone challenge my Will?

You are legally entitled to leave your assets to anyone you wish, however friends or relatives who believe they should have been but have not been sufficiently provided for are entitled to contest your Will. People who can contest your will include your current or former spouse, your children, de-facto partner or ex-partner or any[…]

Where should I keep my Will?

It is vitally important to keep your Will in a safe place. Additionally you should advise someone close to you as to where your Will is kept so it can be located when required. Some solicitors can hold your Will in safe storage for you at no charge.