The Importance of Making a Will

A Will is a legal document that lists the people you want to receive your belongings when you die. This may be property and possessions including everything you own such as your house, land, car, money in bank accounts, jewellery and so on. A Will is vital as it ensures your assets get distributed in the way you want after you die. If you do not make a Will the law has a formula, which sets out, who is entitled to the property you own. You should not rely on this formula, as it may not necessarily distribute your possessions in a way that you would have wanted.

In order for your Will to be valid it must be accepted by a court and put into effect by a grant of probate. The Will must be in writing, either handwritten or typed.

To ensure your wishes are carried out when you die, you need to appoint someone in your Will to handle your affairs at that point. This person is known as an executor and it may be a spouse, child, relative, friend or solicitor. If an executor is not a beneficiary in the Will they are allowed to apply to the court for payments for their work.

If a person makes a Will before they get married it automatically becomes invalid, unless it is stated that the Will was made with marriage in mind. However, it is highly likely that when you marry you will need to make a new Will. Despite this, it is important to note that you are allowed to leave your assets to anyone you like, but you need to keep in mind that spouses and children, including ex-nuptial children are able to take proceedings to obtain provision, depending on their needs.

Considering that making a Will is a very important step in someone’s life, it is recommended that you appoint a solicitor to draw up your Will. A solicitor is able to ensure the Will is properly made, signed and witnessed so that it is valid. They are able to advise you with regard to making provision for your spouse, children, former spouse or any other dependants. They are able to keep your Will in a safe place as well as give you advice on choosing an executor and informing you about the executors rights with regards to payment for his or her time and trouble. A solicitor is also good as they are able to recommend the best way for you to make plans for your affairs.

For more information and expert legal advice on Wills please do not hesitate to contact a qualified solicitor at Lex Fori Lawyers on +61 2 9723 8793.