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Wills - Fact Sheet

Looking for information about Wills?

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.

  1. What is a Will?
  2. Why should I make a Will?
  3. Who can I appoint as my Executor?
  4. What does my Executor have to do to administer my Estate?
  5. Who can I name as beneficiaries in my Will?
  6. If I leave my child, say $100 or nothing at all, can my child contest the Will?
  7. If my Will can be contested, why should I have one?
  8. What if I get married after my Will has been made?
  9. What if I get divorced after I make my Will?
  10. How much will a Will cost me?
  11. Why should I ask the team at Turnbull Hill Lawyers to prepare my Will?
  12. Our Team

Warwick Gilbertson - Lawyers Newcastle - Turnbull Hill - Wills & Estates

Partner & Wills Lawyer

Email Warwick Gilbertson - Lawyer in Newcastle at Turnbull Hill

Free Call Turnbull Hill Lawyers in Newcastle 1800 994 279


What is a Will?

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.

Why should I make a Will?

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.

Who can I appoint as my Executor?

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.

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What does my Executor have to do in order to administer my 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.

Who can I name as beneficiaries in my 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.

If I leave my child, say $100 or nothing at all, can my child contest the Will?

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.

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If my Will can be contested, why should I have one?

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.
The only way a person who is not named as a beneficiary in a Will can receive a benefit from the estate, is if all of the named beneficiaries agree to that person receiving something or if a Judge makes a Court Order to that effect.

What if I get married after my Will has been made?

Depending on your circumstances, your marriage may revoke your Will and you should obtain legal advice.

What if I get divorced after I make my Will?

Your divorce will invalidate any gifts to your former spouse and any appointment of him/her as your Executor.

How much will a Will cost me?

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.

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Why should I ask the team at Turnbull Hill Lawyers to prepare my Will?

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.


Our Wills & Estates Team:

Our Promise:

  • Highly professional and friendly service at all times
  • Highly qualified team
  • Complete confidentiality at all times
  • Fast, efficient and courteous service

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Publications

Wills

A Will is NOT "One Size Fits All"

When it comes to something as important as your Will, you need to have a Will that is customised and "tailored to fit" you and your individual circumstances. It's often said that your Will is like shoes and clothes… one size DOES NOT fit all! Personal circumstances vary greatly from one person to the next. If you don&...

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Estrangement: What does it mean in the law of succession in New South Wales?

Estrangement has been described as “the condition which results from the attitudes or conduct of one or both parties” (Andrews v Andrews [2011] NSWSC 115). On some occasions in claims for family provision, the condition of estrangement comes before the Courts for determination as a result of the failure of a testator to make prope...

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Company Power of Attorney

Consider this situation... You are the sole shareholder and officer of the company that is your primary business vehicle.    You have a Will and it is all up-to-date so when you die you should be protected – right? As you understand it your shares in the company will pass under the terms of your Will to your nomin...

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Who is included in a gift to your "children" in your Will?

It is common for parents to make provision for their children in their Wills as a group.  For example, the Will might be worded: “I give the whole of my estate to my children who survive me, and if more than one, in equal shares”. Such a gift is known as a “class gift”.  The advantage of a class gift ...

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What if I don't want my children to receive a share of my estate until they reach a certain age?

This is a particularly complex area of Will drafting. Certain wording can mean your children receive an “expectant share” in your estate when you die, but only take “possession” of that share when they reach the stipulated age.  For example, the following clause will work in that way: “I give my estate to su...

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