Wills – what are they and why you should have one

A “WILL” is a legal document stating your wishes regarding the division of your estate, that is, your money and assets, after you pass. You also appoint someone to administer your estate, known as an Executor, usually a family member, close friend or legal advisor.

If you die without a Will, this is called dying intestate and your estate will be dealt with according to the intestacy rules set out under the Succession Act 1981 (Qld). These rules provide for the distribution of an estate to the deceased’s relatives.

Whilst there is no law against preparing your own Will, this is not recommended as there is a risk of the Will being invalid if it does not comply with the applicable legal formalities. These uncertainties can ultimately lead to costly legal proceedings to resolve the issue, which reduces the value of the estate.

It is recommended that you engage an experienced legal professional to assist you in preparing your Will. It may be necessary to amend your Will at various times throughout your life, depending on the nature and extent of changes in your circumstances. For example, significant life events such as marriage, divorce, children, significant change in assets and death, generally give rise to a need to amend the terms of your Will.

Given the importance of a Will, it must be kept in a safe place and the Executor should be told of its whereabouts.

Until next week – Keep it Legal!

Katie Caldow

*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon.

Walker PenderWills – what are they and why you should have one