Understanding Writing a Will in Australia


Understanding Writing a Will in Australia

In the popular imagination of Australian, a will is a document that people right in old age to pass property to children. Legally speaking, a will is legally executable document that a “testator” writes to specify how his or her assets can be passed down to children or heirs. However, wills are not something that’s just written in old age. Anyone over the age of 18 can write a will. In fact, it’s encouraged to write a will when you are young to ensure that your assets will be properly distributed in case the worst happens. Later in life, you can amend the will if your inheritors or assets change. If you have already made up your mind to write a will, here are several factors to keep in mind:

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Is There an Ideal Time to Make a Will?

The ideal time would be as early as possible in case your death is untimely. After all, no one can predict their own death. People typically make wills when they have children, gets newly married or divorced, when obtaining new assets, or when starting a business. There are numerous different circumstances as well. You can hire an attorney to make a will if you are over 18. If you are under 18 without a spouse, you can apply to the Supreme Court to make a will. If you are about to get married and are under 18, you can make a will in anticipation of the marriage as well.

What You Need to Make a Will

There are several key legal requirements for making a will. First, the will need be in writing, so no word documents. You, the testator, must sign the will at the end of the document in front of two witnesses. These witnesses cannot be your spouse of anyone who benefits from the will. The witnesses also have to sign the will in your and each other’s presence. These requirements must be followed for your will to be valid. You will also need attorney representation as the will is a legal document. You should hire local estate lawyers Melbourne to set up the specifics of the asset transfer. The attorneys will provide you with a professional legal draft, according to your specifications, that you can review and sign.

Appointing an Executor

When the will is written, you must hire an executor for it. The executor is the person responsible for looking after your assets, who will ensure the will is executed following your death. The executor must be over 18. You can hire someone who lives in the same state as you though it’s not essential. Most people hire someone they know and trust as the executor.

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Changing the Will

You cannot legally alter a will once it has been signed. There will be no legal validity if you cross things out later. But you can make amendments and add updates to a will. It’s done in a separate document referred to as the “codicil.” There are strict rules that apply to making a codicil, sometimes it’s just easier to make a new will.

The government of Australia considers “intestate” if you die without a will. The children, heirs, or other next of kin of intestate persons have to apply Letters of Administration with the Supreme Court for a legal decision on how assets of the departed should be distributed. This can be a cumbersome process, especially if you have multiple assets or assets with complicated ownership situations. Therefore, it’s best to sort out any problems with a will.

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