Wills and Estates

Sydney Wills and Estates Lawyers

Need help with any of the following?

Wills, Testamentary Trusts, Power of Attorney (POA), Enduring Guardianship documents, obtaining a Grant of Probate and Elder Law. 

Contact us here to speak with a Sydney Wills and Estates Lawyer.

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FAQ

A Will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after your death.

You can only include assets that are owned exclusively by you in your Will.

That is, assets in your sole name.

Assets which you own as ‘tenants in common’ can also be included.

Example of assets not covered by a Will include:

  • assets which are owned jointly (as ‘joint tenants’) such as family homes or bank accounts. Ownership will pass to the surviving joint owner automatically. This is known as the right of survivorship;
  • money held by a superannuation fund;
  • assets owned by discretionary trusts. These don’t become part of your estate because they remain the property of the trust;
  • proceeds from a life insurance policy, which are paid directly to the beneficiary nominated by the insured person and do not form part of the deceased’s estate.

 

It’s important to get the right legal advice when preparing your Will.

This will reduce the chance of a dispute between your beneficiaries and ensure your wishes are carried out.

Please contact us here to speak with a Sydney Wills and Estates Lawyer.

‘Executor’ is the title given to a person/s you appoint in your Will to manage your estate after you die.

Your Executor has responsibility for carrying out your wishes as set out in your Will.

You should consider carefully who you select as your Executor/s.

Your Executor should be someone you know very well and who you trust implicitly.

Common choices are spouse, children, siblings or other trusted relatives or friends.

We provide services in the following areas of Wills and Estates:

· Wills

· Probate

· Power of Attorney

· Defending or Contesting a Will

Anyone over the age of 18, and anyone under 18 who is married or contemplating marriage, can make a will, provided they have testamentary capacity.

Persons under the age of18 who are unmarried can make a will with the approval of the Court; this can be advisable for young people who are earning large sums of money in modelling, in show business or arising out of their sports activities or from commercial endorsements.

The Court can also authorise a will to be made for a person lacking testamentary capacity under Part 2.2 of the Succession Act.

There is no public registry of wills in NSW, but a number of private providers offering will registration facilities are in operation.

NSW Trustee & Guardian offers a secure storage service for wills, power of attorney and enduring guardianship documents called Will Safe.

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).

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.
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