We know the importance and benefit of dying with a Will; this not only means that your loved ones will be cared for after your passing it also means that your assets and any other possession will be distributed as per your last wish. We offer services in Will drafting ranging from a simple Will to the most complicated Will. Given the sensitive and confidential nature of a Will we pride ourselves in our confidentiality and ethical attitude in this area of law.

Making a Will involves making a written declaration describing how your property will be disposed of after your death. This allows you to leave your assets and any other possessions to which you are entitled, at the time of your death to nominated beneficiaries. When a person dies without a will, their property is disposed of based on a statutory formula.

Upon your death, the executor you have specified in your will applies to the Supreme Court for probate, meaning they will receive title to your property and dispose of it in accordance with your will.

If you do not have a valid Will, you will die as an ‘intestate’. This means your property will be distributed amongst your relatives (or to the State itself) based on a formula in the Succession Act 2006 (NSW).

You must satisfy a number of legal requirements when making a Will in order for your will to be valid.

A will generally needs three things to be valid:

  • It must be in writing (whether handwritten, typed or printed);
  •  It must be signed; and
  •  Your signature must be witnessed by two other people who also need to sign the will.

We need the following information to draw up your Will:

  • a list of your assets such as property, bank accounts, superannuation and investments;
  • the names and addresses of your beneficiaries (the people who’ll receive your assets);
  • if you have children under the age of 18, the name/s of whomever you’d like to appoint as their guardian(s);
  • specific gifts you wish to make to particular people or organisations, such as personal items or sums of money;
  • the details of your funeral if you have a pre-paid arrangement;
  • a responsible and competent executor. The role of executor includes collecting the estate assets, paying debts, and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will. You can choose a friend or relative, or appoint an independent trustee organisation like NSW Trustee & Guardian.

For professional advice on Wills and Estate in Australia, or on any associated matters, please contact us on 02 8233 6191 or email to enquiries@sellanesclark.com.