A will is one of the most important legal documents you will ever sign, so depending on your individual circumstances it may be best to have it prepared by one of Millner and Knights experienced panel will solicitors.

Understanding wills

A Will is a legal document that sets out your wishes for the distribution of your property or ‘estate’ when you die. While it is not necessary to list every item of your property, your will should include all of your estate.

Common things that can be added in a will:

  • property/real estate
  • money
  • investments
  • shareholdings

What can’t be added to a will?

  • superannuation
  • assets owned by discretionary trusts
  • proceeds from your life insurance policy

Ensuring that your will is clear, legally valid and up-to-date is vital to help ensure that delays and disputes are minimised and your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes.

Making a Will

Different states have different legislation but generally when making a will:

  • it must be in writing
  • be dated at the time of signing
  • must be written by someone at least 18 years old or married
  • be clear as a badly written will often lead to delays and disputes.
  • must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, who also need to sign the will.
  • update your will when necessary
  • get legal advice if you are unsure
  • Keep your will in a safe, secure location

If you need help with the writing or preparation of your will we have a number of economic options available from online writing services to expertly written, handcrafted legal documents. Our will solicitors can quickly determine which option would best suit your needs.

Why should I make a will?

If you don’t make a will, when you pass away your estate will be distributed according to the law. This means that your property may not be disbursed how you would have liked it to be. It’s especially important when you have more than one beneficiary or for example, you had two children and would have liked to have left one child the house and the other child some money.

Some of the most common reason to write a will include:

  • To secure your children’s or loved one’s future
  • You have got married (as it cancels out any previous wills)
  • Because you have been through a divorce, please see: The Wills Amendment Act 2007
  • You are not married as our de facto partner may not automatically be entitled to your estate.
  • Fast distribution of your estate
  • You get to decide who inherits what
  • Choose your own executor, an executor is responsible for looking after your estate and distributing your assets

According to the public trustee, more than 50% of Australian adults do not have a valid Will.