WHAT IS A WILL AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?
A Will is a legal document that sets out who you want to receive your assets when you die.
Preparing a Will is one of the simplest things you can do to protect your interests for the future and to make sure your children are taken care of and your assets go exactly where you want them to go after you die.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST FOR STACEY McALLAN LEGAL TO PREPARE MY WILL?
2020 /2021 Preparation Fees:
Single standard Will: $330.00* plus GST.
*A non-standard Will with specific, additional clause inclusions will incur a higher fee. Please note our professional fees are reviewed regularly and may change without notice.
WHERE SHOULD I KEEP MY WILL?
We suggest you keep your Will along with any other Estate documents or legal documents in a Deed Packet in our strong room (safe).
There is no cost to keep your documents in our safe and you can access them at any time.
DOES GETTING MARRIED OR DIVORCED EFFECT MY WILL?
Yes – If you marry after you have made a Will, the Will is generally revoked.
We encourage you to review your Will if you divorce or separate from your partner, particularly if your ex-partner is listed as an Executor or Trustee of your Will and you do not wish for them to perform this duty.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO REVISE MY WILL?
Throughout your life, it’s important to review your Will to make sure your instructions remain relevant and reflective of your circumstances, particularly big changes (i.e. if you get married, after the birth of a child or the loss of a spouse).
I NEED TO CHOOSE AN EXECUTOR OF MY WILL. WHAT DO THEY DO?
An executor is the person you entrust to carry out your wishes after you die. The job of the executor is to administer the estate. Put simply, this involves making sure their debts are paid and that their assets and possessions go where the deceased wanted them to. Often, the Executor works alongside a solicitor to make sure all requirements are carried out in accordance with law.
Generally, we advise that you select one or at most two executors.
DO I HAVE TO USE A SOLICITOR TO MAKE MY WILL?
No – you can prepare your own Will using a Will kit, however this can be very risky.
To ensure your Will is valid and to make sure your estate is distributed as you wish, it is always best to ask our experienced Estate team to guide you through the process and to draft and safeguard your Will.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DIE WITHOUT A WILL?
If you die without a Will, you die intestate. This means, as you didn't have a Will, no-one knows who you wanted as your beneficiaries and who you wanted as your executor. This means your assets will be distributed in accordance with a predetermined formula. This can cause a lot of hardship for loved ones, particularly if you are in a defacto relationship as your partner will need to prove that you both were in a relationship. Proving this can be time consuming and costly.
If you die intestate and have no surviving relatives closer than cousins, the State Government will receive your estate.
WHEN SHOULD I MAKE A WILL?
Everyone’s circumstances are different and when you decide to make a Will is a personal choice.
As a rule of thumb, we advise that anyone over the age of 18 should consider having a Will professionally drafted, particularly if you have assets, inheritance or children to safeguard.