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When it comes to writing your Will, engaging a lawyer who specialises in Wills and Estates is the most sensible decision you can make. Most people think they can purchase a Will Kit and complete it themselves as it is a simple process.

There are however many issues that you need to think about when drafting your Will. Such as who is the best person to be your executor, is there more than one executor, who is the back up executor if one that you have nominated dies before you or they cannot undertake their duties as an executor, do you need a guardian for your underage children, what specific items do you want to give and to who, do you want to allow someone to live in your home but not own it if you are from two different families coming together and so much more.

One important aspect when drafting a Will is to ensure that you properly consider all matters relevant to your personal circumstances. By seeing a lawyer they will discuss all these matters and the different situations with you so as to ensure that nothing is missed when drafting your Will and that all matters relevant to you are covered.

Another important aspect to consider when providing instructions on your Will is being well informed as to the ownership structure of real property. Some people may wish to gift real estate however, if real estate is owned as joint tenants with someone else, that property will automatically fall to the surviving joint tenant notwithstanding what is outlined in your Will. If this is not what you want a discussion can be had with your lawyer about altering the ownership structure of the real estate so that the desired effect of who you want to gift the property to in the event of your death can ultimately be achieved.

Another common mistake that people make when preparing their Will is incorrectly signing the document. It is crucial that you ensure that two eligible witnesses are present when you sign your Will and that they see you sign it, that they sign as witnesses at the same time that you sign your Will and that every page of your Will is signed and not initialed. You want to ensure that your Will is valid so ensuring that it is signed properly is an important part of this process.

It is extremely important that the location of your original Will once signed is known by your executor as the original is needed if you were to pass away. If your Will is not drafted by a lawyer and safely stored, then the effects of not being able to locate the Will could be detrimental, stressful and costly to those loved ones left behind. When your Will is completed by a lawyer, it can be retained by them and kept in a secure and confidential location and can be easily accessible to your executors when it is ultimately required.

Whilst “Do it Yourself” Will Kits are legal, they are often seen as a cheaper option than getting legal advice, but this is not necessarily true. A DIY Will might cause you more issues down the track costing your loved ones money or causing disputes. We often see matters overlooked that if they had seen a lawyer would likely have been covered and addressed. So why would you risk your wishes not being recorded accurately, your Will not covering everything it should or your Will not being signed correctly. You wouldn’t service your car yourself, rather you would have a qualified mechanic look at it to ensure it is done properly and safely, not leaving anything
to chance. So why wouldn’t you do the same with your Will so as to ensure that what you have worked hard for during your lifetime to earn and collect is left properly to who you want to receive it.

When we’ve lost a loved one the grieving process can be extremely difficult, and you deserve the time and space to grieve without having to deal with a Will that might not be valid or that might be challenged because it hasn’t been signed correctly.

It is crucial that you give due consideration to all required and necessary aspects when making your Will.

Our experienced Wills and Estates lawyers can ensure that your specific needs and situation are considered and covered when preparing your Will. We also sign your Will with you and offer secure storage, giving you a peace of mind that one of the most important decisions you’ve made is secure and is not at risk of unauthorised access, damage or destruction.

Take control of your Estate Planning and ensure that you have considered all matters when making your Will and that it is valid by talking to one of our experienced Wills and Estate lawyers today.

Natasha can be contacted on (08) 8333 2130.

Natasha Hemmerling

Natasha Hemmerling

This blog post does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is a general commentary on matters that may be of interest to you.  Formal legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on any matter arising from this communication.