It is the inevitable truth in life that most people understandably do not want to think about. However, from a legal standpoint – we really should. Making a Will in Australia is one of the most important things you can do to protect your family and should not be ignored. If you want to ensure your wishes are followed, and your loved ones are taken care of upon your departure, you have come to the right place. The purpose of this article is to discuss everything you need to know about making a Will in Australia.
What Are The Types Of Wills?
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 endeavouring to make a will in Australia.
In relation to the simple Will, these are usually much more common in contrast to complex Wills. They are generally for when someone wishes to leave the rest and residue of their estate to only a few people. For example, in a simple Will matter, someone may want to leave their estate evenly split their children or even a single spouse.
A complex Will would be more suitable in situations where there are many assets and people involved to award 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.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements For Making a Will In Australia
The eligibility requirements for making a Will in Australia are pretty low, but they are essential to follow. Otherwise, your Will won’t be legally valid.
1. You must be at least 18 years of age or married
2. You must have what is known as ‘testamentary capacity’, which means that you:
- Understand the legal ramifications of a Will
- You are aware of what assets you own
- You are aware of people that would typically be expected to benefit from your estate.
- You must not be inhibited by any mental illness or impairment that affects your ability to make rational decisions about who is to benefit from your Will.
Is Making A Will In Australia Myself Worth It?
The cost of making a Will in Australia will typically be in the range of a few hundred dollars, and potentially more depending on the complexity of drafting the matter and the number of assets involved.
While making a Will in Australia can be done without the assistance of a solicitor, it is highly advised that you do not do this. Time and time again, I have seen first-hand a Will created by a lay individual without the help of a lawyer, which is not legally binding. This is because making a Will in Australia has some legal requirements that must be followed to be valid.
In contrast to the peace of mind of knowing your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, the relative cost of a few hundred dollars is negligible. This is because a Will can spare unnecessary drama and headaches for the beneficiaries you are leaving your estate to.
Making a Will With a Solicitor
Making a Will in Australia with a solicitor is a straightforward process. A solicitor will usually collect some initial details from you and then compile a Will according to your wishes. From here, another meeting will take place where your solicitor will go through the Will with you and ensure all the details of the Will align with your wants and needs. In this session, amendments can be made on the spot to accommodate what you require.
After you, the solicitor and the witness have signed each page of the Will – everything is complete, and you do not need to worry any longer about what will happen to your estate.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing making a Will in Australia, it is essential to remember that the costs of making a will on your own typically outweigh the benefits. For peace of mind, it is recommended you reach out to an experienced family lawyer that can plan out your Will according to your wishes.
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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