It is relatively easy to find a free will template on the internet or buy a “Will Kit” from a newsagent or online.
So, is it really a good idea to write your own will?
Why you need a valid will
The purpose of a will is to direct where your assets will go when you die. It also appoints a trusted person to act as your executor and that person will then direct the process of winding up your estate.
In some instances, it will be necessary for the will to be approved by the Supreme Court through the probate process.
If you fail to create a valid will or if the will is not fully effective then it is likely that this may cause delays and increased fees, but far more importantly the people you want to benefit from your estate may miss out.
But what can go wrong if I do it myself?
- There are very strict rules for the signing and witnessing of wills. If the correct procedure is not followed then your will may not be valid.
- As a person doing it for yourself you may be blissfully unaware of the large number of assets that in fact cannot always be given by your will. This includes:
- Superannuation (see our article “Estate Planning and Superannuation – 10 things you may not know”)
- Jointly owned assets
- Life Insurance
- Trusts of which you are a trustee, beneficiary or the controller.
- Great care needs to be taken in preparing a will when you and your life partner are not married.
- There may be problems finding the original will that you have created. At Tetlow Legal we hold wills for thousands of clients in our safe and secure deeds register and we provide you with copies. We also go to great lengths to make back-up copies of your original signed will.
- Your homemade will may not be tax and stamp duty effective. At Tetlow Legal we try and ensure that our client’s will, so far as is proper, legal and practical minimises tax and stamp duty obligations.
- Your homemade will may not consider the need to appoint guardians for your infant children.
- Tetlow legal can give you detailed and accurate legal advice on the implications of any proposed gifts.
At Tetlow Legal we are trained to write valid wills. Brian Tetlow and Emma Bragg have been drafting wills for a combined period of nearly 50 years! We can ensure that your will is valid and is appropriate to your particular circumstances.
If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help please contact Brian and Emma on 02 6140 3263 or email [email protected]