Wills

A Will is a document which sets out what you want to happen to your assets after your death. Your Will names who you wish to leave something to and what you want to leave to them. It can also set out who you would like to be guardians for your children.

Most people think Wills are just for the elderly…

but everyone needs a Will.

 

Why do I need a Will?

  • A Will ensures your house, jewellery, car, shares, money in your bank account or own anything else you own of value is passed on to the person you choose.
  • Your Will can set out who you would like to take care of your children if something happened to you.
  • Your will can detail how your electronic data is to be dealt with – for example, will your facebook, Instagram and twitter accounts be closed?
  • You can also set out where your passwords are stored and who can have access to them – for example, how will people access your laptop and mobile phone?

 

What happens if I do not have a Will?

A Will sets out who inherits your assets after your death. If you don’t have a Will then your assets will pass to beneficiaries as set out in the Succession Act. This may not be what you want to happen.

It is easier for an executor to administer your estate if there is a valid Will in place. The Will can be provided to the Court and you will be given a grant of probate. The probate documents can then be provided to persons and companies when trying to close bank accounts, sell shares or sell real estate. Find out more about probate.

 

When should I update my Will?

Once you have an up to date Will, you need to make sure you review it every three to five years to ensure it is current.

Changes in your circumstances such as the purchase or sale of an asset, a birth, death, marriage or divorce are some of the events that mean you will need to review and update your Will.

 

How does marriage or separation impact on my Will?

  • If you are married and do not have a Will then upon your death all your possessions will go to your spouse. You need a Will if you want to make sure certain gifts pass to specific people – for example, if you want your jewellery to go to your child.
  • If you are married but you and your partner have separated – without a Will, your assets will still pass to your spouse!
  • If you developed a Will before you got married, then your Will might now be invalid! You should get legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you have a valid Will.

 

How can we help you?

Wollongong City Lawyers provides advice in relation to all aspects of Wills and estates, including representation to clients wishing to contest a Will, or to executors of estates where a Will is in dispute. Contact us on (02) 4263 1803 or send us an email.

Request a Quote

Yes – we offer fixed fee services for Wills and Estates matters!

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Having a valid Will can prevent a dispute over your estate

 

Unfortunately, it is common to see conflict within a family when a person passes away. Some of the main causes of disputes include:

  • People not agreeing how to divide the assets
  • Confusion or uncertainty around what the deceased person would have wanted to happen with their assets
  • A dispute over who should act as executor of the estate
  • Conflict over how the assets are managed – for example, should the house be sold now or leased for a period of time?

 

How can you prevent a dispute over your estate?

It is important to have an up to date Will that clearly sets out how your assets are to be divided. It is also recommended that you communicate your wishes to your family early on. If you don’t want to discuss this with your family directly, you could prepare a letter to the executor explaining your wishes. This can reduce uncertainty and prevent any surprises and misunderstandings between family members after you have passed away.

Once you have an up to date Will, you need to make sure you review it every three to five years to ensure it is current. Keep in mind that changes in your circumstances such as purchasing or selling a home, the birth of a child, death of a spouse or other family member, marriage or divorce are some of the events that mean you may need to update your Will.

Planning how you want to divide your assets after you pass away can be an emotional process. However, if you have an up to date Will, and you let people know the reasons why you have made these decisions, you will ensure your family’s continued harmony after you are gone.

 

How can we help you?

Wollongong City Lawyers provides advice in relation to all aspects of Wills and estates, including representation to clients wishing to contest a Will, or to executors of estates where a Will is in dispute. Contact us on (02) 4263 1803 or send us an email.

Request a Quote

Yes – we offer fixed fee services for Wills and Estates matters!

Probate

Power of attorney

Enduring guardian

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