Estate Lawyer – Dickinsons Lawyers Experienced in Wills and Estate Law, Importance of Making a Will

August 18, 2016 by admin · Leave a Comment 

Importance of Making a Will

We have all read about high profile family estate battles, like those that followed the deaths of mining magnate Lang Hancock and prominent businessman Richard Pratt. However, there are many other cases involving ‘ordinary’ Australians that do not get picked up by the media but which are equally emotionally and financially draining. To avoid these situations it is important you make a Will.

What is a will?

A Will is a legal document which sets out who will receive your property when you die. When making a Will you must appoint an executor, who will make sure the Will is followed after your death. Anyone over the age of eighteen (18) years old should make a Will.

What makes a Will valid?

In order to be valid, a Will:

  • Must be in writing
  • Must be signed and dated
  • Must be witnessed by two other people who must also sign the Will. The witnesses must not:

a)   Be receiving a gift under the Will (beneficiary)

b)   Be the spouse or partner of a beneficiary under the Will

Although this seems simple, Wills are frequently challenged. This may be because the person making the Will (testator):

  • Lacked Capacity – Did not know what they were signing
  • Acted under duressWas forced to sign against their will
  • Did not provide for an eligible person

Other issues may arise when someone makes their own will without the assistance of a solicitor (Homemade Will). Typical issues that arise from Homemade Wills include:

  • Not expressing intentions clearly enough
  • Not drawing up the Will properly
  • Excluding eligible persons

The law surrounding Wills is more complex than it seems. If you prepare a Homemade Will, you risk additional legal costs after your death.

 

How can we help?

When you make your Will, it is important you have it drafted by a solicitor who understands the law and can advise you on the best way to make sure your assets end up where you want them to go.

In order to assist you, we can:

  • Make sure you have expressed your wishes in the best possible way, so nothing is left to chance
  • Make sure your will is properly drawn up, signed and witnessed
  • Advise you on your rights and obligations to eligible persons
  • Advise you on estate planning
  • Give you a thorough understanding of the role of your executor and help you choose an appropriate one;
  • Advise you on what happens to your superannuation after you die
  • Store your Will in a secure safe
  • Advise you on making a Power of Attorney and appointing an Enduring Guardian

 

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