PRACTICAL INFO

Everyone over 18 years who has capacity to make a will, should make a will

Wills

A Will is generally a formal written and signed statement, which outlines how you want your property and assets to be distributed when you die.​

It is an important legal document that all adults should have to protect the assets they have worked hard to accumulate.​

Making a Will is a specialised task, often requiring consideration of complex financial, legal and tax issues to ensure that your estate (your property and assets) are distributed in accordance with your wishes​.

Regardless of the size of your estate it’s important to have a valid Will​.

If circumstances change and you wish to modify your will in the future, you can. ​

Depending on which state of Australia you live in you can find out more from the Public Trustee in your state or territory about making wills.​

I created a big spreadsheet and I made a very detailed record of all of our financial situation, the whole shooting match, so that at the end of the day when my wife had to go to a lawyer to execute the will she could take this spreadsheet, so the lawyer would be able to deal with it all. It was very difficult but I felt it was essential - it’s my nature, everything has to be documented and foolproof

Steve, 69yrs living with pancreatic cancer

Making a Will

Using a lawyer ​

Most lawyers can prepare a standard Will at a moderate cost, but this will vary depending on your situation. A lawyer should provide you with a written quote or estimate before preparing your Will. If you are not sure how to find a lawyer, ask for a recommendation from family or a friend, or contact the Law Institute in your state.

Using a trustee company ​

You can use a commercial trustee company (such as State Trustees or Equity Trustees) to make your Will. If you take this option, ask for a written quote or estimate. Also check that they are prepared to make your Will without also being appointed as your executor as this will incur additional fees and commissions. ​

Using a Do it Yourself (DIY) Kit​

Will kits are sold at post offices, news agencies and online for about $30. Make sure you fill in the DIY kit correctly and have it properly witnessed – otherwise your Will could be invalid or take time and money to fix​.

This information about ways of Making a Will has been sourced from the Victorian Law Foundation Guide to making a Will in Victoria (pdf)