Wills + Estates

60 percent of Australians do not have a valid Will. We can help you to prepare a Will so that your estate will go to the people you want to provide for when you pass away.

Your last Will and Testament is an important document. It contains your instructions on what is to happen with all of your property including real estate and personal property after your death. It is also your opportunity to express your wishes on matters that may affect your family should you pass away.

The preparation of a Will requires the consideration of several key issues, including:

  • Who do you need to provide for?
  • How will your estate be divided?
  • Who would you like to be responsible for your children?
  • Who do you want to appoint as the executor of your Will?
An executor is the person who will be responsible for carrying out the instructions you have put in your Will. Your executor is also responsible for ensuring that any debts owed by you are paid after you die and before your property is distributed.

The 3 key areas in wills + estates

Estates

“Estate” is the term used to describe all of the assets you own or have an interest in at the time of your death. Administering an estate involves collecting in the assets, paying the debts and distributing the assets in accordance with the Will.

Intestacy

“Intestacy” occurs when someone dies without a Will. Their estate is divided between their relatives according to the law, not their instructions. This may not suit you because it may result in your estate going to relatives who you do not want or do not need to provide for.

Disputed estates

Spouses, de facto partners, children, grandchildren or step-children, may in certain circumstances be able to dispute the distribution of your estate if they feel that you have not adequately provided for their needs in your Will. This means that your estate may not be divided as you wish it to be, and that it is important to have a Will that minimises the risk of such a dispute occurring.

Frequently Asked Questions

All property and possessions owned by a person, whether solely or with one or more other persons, at the date of their death.

Technically no, but it is highly advisable because a will that has not been prepared by a solicitor is much more likely not to be valid.  Consequently, the estate may not be distributed as the will make wanted it to be.  Also, the cost and time involved may ultimately be far greater than the cost of a properly drafted will.  The cost of getting a will prepared by a lawyer is modest in comparison to the value of the will maker’s estate, and the peace of mind for the will maker is beyond monetary value.

Yes, but it is unlawful.  The executor’s primary duty is to ensure that the will maker’s estate is administered in accordance with the will or any court orders.   In theory an executor could steal from an estate, but they risk being taken to court by beneficiaries if they do.

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