Wills - Fact Sheet - NSW
Did you know that over 40% of Australian adults are at risk because they don't have a valid Will in place? Do you have a valid Will?
Acting as an Executor can be a confusing and stressful experience. Set out below are answers to some of the most often asked questions.
Your Will is a written document signed by you, which sets out who is to be in charge of administering your estate (your Executor(s)) and who is to receive your assets (your beneficiaries) when you die.
Some reasons include: (1) to express your intention as to how your estate is to be distributed; (2) to avoid cost, delay and difficulty for your family in administering your estate; (3) the need to provide adequately for all relevant family members, eg. especially in blended families; and (4) to reduce the potential for dispute.
You can appoint whomever you like to be your Executor. It can be your spouse, children, friends, brothers, sisters, your accountant, and even your lawyer. You can have more than one Executor and the Executor can be a beneficiary of your estate.
Your Executor must identify all of your assets and liabilities, obtain a Grant of Probate (if required), use your assets to pay out all of your debts, and distribute your estate in accordance with what is written in your Will. If your Will is contested, then your Executor is under a duty to defend the Will.
You can name whomever you want as beneficiaries to receive your assets. This can be your spouse, children, grandchildren, friends, brothers, sisters or a charity.
Yes. Children are eligible to contest Wills. Not all relatives are eligible. Claimants have a set period of time within which they can make their claim and must prove that they are eligible to claim against your estate and have a need for provision out of your estate.
Your Will is the written record of your intentions as to whom you would like to receive your assets when you die. No other document formally and legally recognises your intentions the way that your Will does.
Depending on your circumstances, your marriage may revoke your Will and you should obtain legal advice.
Your divorce will invalidate any gifts to your former spouse and any appointment of him/her as your Executor.
This depends on your situation and overall circumstances, what you wish to state in your Will and what you want your Will to achieve. Some Wills can be relatively straightforward, while others can be extremely complex. Once we discuss your personal circumstances and wishes with you, we will know what type of Will we need to prepare for you to properly reflect your intentions. After that initial discussion, we will provide you with a quote.
We will take your instructions, be thorough in our approach, advise you of any issues that may arise in the administration of your Will (eg. if someone may contest your Will) and prepare your Will to give effect to your intentions. We will keep your Will in safe custody at no additional cost and send you a copy of your Will for your own records.
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