There are a few common types of Wills in Australia. However, the most common are Simple Wills. Complex Wills and Mutual Wills. It would be helpful to identify which Will would but suit your needs before considering how to write a Will in Australia.
A complex Will is bested suit to situations where many assets and people are involved in awarding the estate. These types of Wills encapsulate Testamentary Trusts and Special Disability Trusts. With this type of Will, conditions may be set up regarding how the estate is divided. You are also given more freedom to divide your estate in particular ways rather than simply awarding lump sums.
A mutual Will is entered into by spouses and is written if one spouse dies before the other.
In contrast, a simple is much more common in comparison to complex Wills. They are generally for when someone wishes to leave the rest and residue of their estate to only a few people or has only a few common assets in their estates such as a family home and some money. For example, in a simple Will matter, someone may want to leave their estate evenly split their children or even a single spouse.
Eligibility Requirements For a Will In Australia
Before moving on to how to write a Will in Australia, it is essential to note that some legalities must be observed before doing so. These requirements are necessary for your Will to be legally valid. If your Will is not legally valid, it will not hold any legal weight and will not be required to be followed upon your passing away.
These legal requirements are:
Firstly – You must legally be an adult, or in other words, at least 18 years of age. The only exception to this is if you are married.
Secondly – You must have ‘testamentary capacity’.
Testamentary Capacity refers to:
- Understanding the legal consequences that flow from creating your Will;
- You are not mentally impaired or ill to the point which has impacted your ability to understand the consequences of your decisions and make illogical choices;
- You are fully aware of all of the assets that you own and are in your control; and
- You know which people are generally expected to benefit from your Will (such as your friends, family and anyone under your care).
How To Write a Will In Australia With a Lawyer
The process to write a Will in Australia with a lawyer is quite simple. Upon your initial consult, a solicitor will typically collect preliminary details from you and draft a Will in line with your wishes.
To make the process easier and potentially less costly, you should have the following details on hand:
- A list of all your assets, shares, investments, property and so forth that will be included in your Will;
- Your bank account details, numbers, statements;
- The list of all the beneficiaries of your estate, including their full name, residential address and date of birth; and
- A list of sentimental items and family heirlooms to be included in your Will.
After this, another meeting will take place where:
- The solicitor will run through your Will with you and ensure everything is correct. Amendments may be made on the spot to accommodate your requirements; and
- A third party witnesses the Will, and all the documents are signed off by the three of you.
How To Write a Will In Australia Yourself
Writing a Will yourself presents the advantage of cost in contrast to making a Will with a Solicitor. However, a significant disadvantage of this option maybe not doing everything correctly and observing some legal requirements needed to make your Will valid.
If you insist on writing your own Will, you should start by searching for a DIY Will kit and then go through the following:
To begin making your Will in NSW, you should first start by determining what property and assets you have in your possession and writing out a list of these.
Once you have done this, the next step would be to think about how you want all your property and assets to be distributed, and who will be the beneficiaries of your estate.
The next step would be to think about who will be the executor of your estate. As mentioned previously, this is the person you will entrust to execute the wishes of your Will.
Finally, if you have any children under the age of 18 involved or any dependents, you should also think about who will be their guardian if both you and your partner were to pass away.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing matters such as how to write a Will in Australia, it is essential to remember that although writing a Will is something you can do by yourself, it is highly recommended that you do not. This is because a Will is such an important document that will impact the lives of all your loved ones.
Accordingly, you will want to do everything in your power to ensure that your Will is air-tight and legally valid to ensure your wishes are carried out, and your loved ones are taken care of.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way.
With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
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