The question of ‘how to make a Will in Australia’ is extremely crucial because it is always highly recommended that people prepare a Will in their life. Failing to do so leads to complicated scenarios including disputes between family members.
When a person dies without a Will, they are said to die intestate.
The aim of this article is to answer the question of how to make a Will in Australia. This article will provide an overview of the various approaches that people take to prepare a Will in Australia.
Broadly speaking, there are two answers to the question of how to make a Will in Australia. These are:
- By approaching Wills and estate planning lawyers; and
- By using (DIY) Will kits or online templates.
How To Make A Will In Australia: DIY Approach
With more and more facilities being available online, even the process of making Wills has become digitalised. To prepare your testament, you can use online DIY Will kits or templates. Modern technology made these accesible today.
The DIY approach under how to make a Will in Australia has become popular because of the reduced expenses associated with this method. Online kits generally have pre-written templates which are then filled out by the person wishing to make a Will.
People actively use this type of approach for simple Wills. However, the online Will kit approach also brings with it some concerns. For instance, are such kits legally binding? There are certain requirements for a Will to be valid.
Therefore, the important question here is how to make a Will in Australia that is legally valid and binding? If you are using the DIY Will kits, there are high chances that the Will you have prepared will not be legally binding. For instance, having witnesses’ signatures is an essential requirement to make a Will legally binding.
What Are These Requirements?
In NSW, the Succession Act 2006 states that two witnesses need to sign the Will, along with the Will-maker himself/herself in order to make the Will legally valid.
Moreover, preparing a Will has various laws on different jurisdictions. The validity of a statement needs to fulfil different kinds of criteria.
Depending on the jurisdiction that you fall under, preparing a valid document is very important. This is why a DIY Will kit is recommended only as the final resort for extremely simple Wills. Although they are relatively inexpensive, there are many loopholes when using such kits.
Ultimately, if the Will that is prepared through such methods is rendered to be invalid, you will be required to go through the entire process all over again. This is why when being asked how to make a Will in Australia, the online template method is not highly recommended by experts.
How To Make A Will In Australia: Through Wills & Estate Planning Lawyers
For both simple and complex Wills, seeking guidance from Wills and Estate Planning lawyers is essential to make sure that the documents you prepare are legally valid.
There are essential things which you will need before starting with the process. A list of assets and other important information is a requirement.
Before you gather all important information, it is also necessary to check if you are eligible to make a testament. Eligibility requirement is as follows:
- Unless married, you must be over 18
- You must have testamentary capacity. Testamentary capacity refers to the mental ability of the testator. This includes:
1) The testator must understand the legal effects of making a Will;
2) They must be aware of all property they posses and extent of their assets;
3) They must understand any obligations they have towards friends and family; and
4) They must not have any mental illness which prevents them from making sound decisions.
What The Solicitor Considers As Important Information
Before approaching a solicitor, collect the following information to make the process faster, and also to minimise costs.
- Detailed information on all assets including real estate, property, bank accounts, investments (even foreign investments), superannuation details etc
- The full names, addresses and details of all beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are those who will receive portion of your estate.
- The full names, addresses and details of executor/s. The executor plays a vital role in the administration of the estate. He/she is responsible for distributing assets, and paying off debts. The executor can be a friend or relative or also independent organisation such as NSW Trustee & Guardian.
How Can JB Solicitors Help?
The Wills and Estate Planning lawyers at JB Solicitors deal with a variety of matters related to testaments. Firstly, our solicitors can help you with preparing a binding Will such that all your personal interests are represented properly.
When making Wills, because it is such a significant event in your life, it is important to have trustworthy professionals by your side. Our community-oriented team of solicitors understand that this process can be taxing.
This is why our solicitors go above and beyond to fulfil all your needs. We are experts in handling both simple and complex estate planning matters. Notably, we also offer expertise in matters related to disputed Wills.
Sometimes, family members may make claims against the Will if they feel that they have not been provided for adequately. In such matters, our lawyers can help the members build a solid case. Moreover, in cases of claims that the testator lacked testamentary capacity at the time of drafting the Will, our lawyers can also help challenge the validity of the testament.
For our simple and complex Will drafting services. we also offer fixed-fee prices. People are often discouraged because of legal fees and end up using online kits and templates. As discussed above, these templates are not efficient and can often make things more complicated.
Our lawyers can give a clearer idea on costs involved by means of consultation
For more enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us.