Making a will allows you to cater for the needs of your family and the people that you love, even after your death. A will is particularly important if you have significant assets and properties that need to be evenly distributed among your beneficiaries. If you do not make a will, it means that you will die intestate and that the state will decide how your assets will be shared among your beneficiaries. When making wills in Australia, you must consider several things.

As you begin to make your will

1. You will first have to determine your beneficiaries and executor. Your beneficiaries are anyone that is related to you and/or depends on you.
2. These may include your family or a charity organization.
3. Determine an executor who will have the responsibility of carrying out the instructions in the Wills.
4. Ensure that you indicate what each of your beneficiaries will receive as part of your properties and assets.

Take into consideration that in NSW, the Will is revoked following a divorce. This means that you would have to create a new Will that reflects your status as a divorced person. Your new Will should also include any prenuptial agreement that you have with your divorced spouse.

When distributing property take into consideration your immediate family members including minors and adult children. Naturally, you would designate property to minors through a guardian such as a spouse. The Family Provision Legislation allows dependent members of your family to contest the Will if you do not leave enough provision for them.

Finally, have your Solicitor register your Will with the State Registry. The Registry does not need to see your Will and only stores information that you provide about your Will during the registration process. Registering a Will allows your family and the executor to locate it when they need it. Registration of Wills is done online through a secure site where you will provide information such as: Your (testator) name, place and date of birth, parent’s names, contact information and address. Information about the person who is registering the Will, including their name, address and their relationship to you (testator), information about the Will’s location, its date and the executor.

For your Wills to be enforceable, they must be valid. According to AUSTRALIAN requirements, a Will is valid when:

a) It is written down in handwriting or in typed form;
b) It is signed by the testator and has his/her signature and date at the bottom of the Will;
c) There are at least two witnesses when you sign the Will. These two witnesses must also sign the Will.

It is possible to make your own Will especially if you have few properties and neither you nor your beneficiaries are engaged in legal tussles. However, it is strongly recommended that you utilize the services of a Solicitor to avoid any mistakes that may contradict your intentions. A Solicitor is also in a better position to advise you on matters such as tax, trust funds, and asset management.

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