Common Legal Questions

Wills & Estates – Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a Will?

A Will is a very important legal document which sets out the manner in which you wish for your Estate to be distributed amongst your beneficiaries after your passing. The Will will appoint an executor or executrix who is the person charged with the responsibility of administering the Estate so as to ensure that the terms of the Will are fulfilled. Also, if you have infant children, a Will can serve to appoint the person or persons you wish to become your children’s Guardian.

Do I have to make a Will?

The short answer is, no. You do not have to have a Will. If you pass without a Will then you die intestate. Letters of Administration will need to be taken out in the Supreme Court in order to enable the distribution of your Estate. Your Estate may be distributed in a manner in which you would not have wished for. That of course cannot be prevented in the absence of a Will. People may benefit from your Estate that you would not otherwise have provided for. Even though you do not have to have a Will it is a very important yet simple document which can assist in ensuring that your Estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes.

Can I stop people from challenging the Will?

Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done to prevent a person or persons from challenging the Will should they choose to do so. There are however things that can be done so as to minimise the prospects of there being any successful challenge to a Will. Often the challenge is brought by family members who have not been provided for in a Will. In other circumstances there can be challenges made by strangers who believe that they have an entitlement to a share of the Estate for services that they may have provided to the person during their life.

I still have very young children, what can I do for them in a Will?

When it comes to infant children care must of course be taken to ensure that proper provisions are made for them in the Will. This may include the appointment of a Guardian under the Will\ to care for the infant children. The appointment of a Guardian under the Will is not in itself binding as such as this may be subject to any Family Court orders necessary to ensure that the welfare of the child is paramount. However, the identification of a Guardian by the Testator or Testatrix in their Will will provide to the court a clear indication as to their intentions for the children in the event of their passing. Also, under a Will, Trusts can be established so that assets are held by a trustee for the benefit of the infant children until they attain a certain age. The Trustee can be empowered with a wide range of authority to either sell assets and hold the monies on trust or alternatively retain assets which generate income for the benefit of the infant children. Brydens Lawyers are the experts in drafting Wills so as to ensure that proper provision is made for infant children.

Is a Will expensive and do I really need a solicitor to draft the same?

A Will is a relatively inexpensive document to have prepared by Brydens Lawyers. Of course you can draft your own Will. Will kits can be purchased from various organisations and news agencies. However, given that a Will is such an important document it is very important that it be prepared correctly. If not, the Will could be challenged and may not be of any force or effect. There are very strict laws that apply to the drafting of a Will and in particular to the execution of the Will so as to ensure that it is valid. Brydens Lawyers are the Wills experts and available to assist in the drafting of your Will.

I have a Will already, does it need to be updated?

A Will should be updated from time to time particularly if there are any significant change in circumstances in your life. This would include getting married or getting divorced. If you already have a Will and are in the contemplation of marriage then your Will should be updated. Similarly if you have a Will prepared during the course of your marriage and then divorce it would be important to prepare a further Will so as to ensure that the distribution of your Estate accords with your wishes.

With over 40 years of experience in Wills & Estates, Brydens Lawyers can help you make sure that your final wishes are carried out as you require. Make sure you protect the future of your family and loved ones by ensuring you have a properly drafted Will from Brydens Lawyers. Call us today on 1800 848 848 or email info@brydens.com.au

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