In truth, you probably don't want to think about making a Will or succession. It's not really a pleasant thought and there is a lot to decide on. However, making and creating an effective Will is an important part of your life that needs serious consideration. It gives you the power to decide who gets what when you pass away. Even though a Will is a legal document, we make creating one easier than you might think.

How to make a Will

Here's 5 simple steps you'll need to make a Will.

Step 1: Speak with an expert in our Wills and estates team
Step 2: Get to know the details
Step 3: Make some personal decisions
Step 4: Appoint an executor, trustee and guardians
Step 5: Keep your Will in a safe place. We will store it for you.

What if there is no Will?

Who gets your assets? Who gets your prized possessions? Who cares for your kids? These are the difficult questions your family will be asking after you're gone. Without a Will, these questions will remain unanswered, potentially causing stress and drama for years to come.

Having a legally drafted Will is the best approach to make sure your assets are distributed in the way you want. And chatting with an expert is the right place to start.

Step 1: Speak with an expert in our Wills and estates team

Even if your affairs are simple, creating a Will with the help of a qualified lawyer ensures your wishes are fulfilled without any complications. In our experience, most people are not aware the extent of their assets and what can be bestowed to their loved ones. This is doubly important if you're leaving behind a complex situation such as multiple estates; family trusts; a self-managed superannuation fund; or a blended family situation.

At Maurice Blackburn, we make sure you have all the right information to help you make the best decisions for your personal circumstances. A legal expert will give you the peace of mind to know that your Will is sensitive to your wishes, as well as legally effective in execution.

Our knowledge, experience and simplicity will bring you peace of mind knowing that you have protected your assets and its distribution in the way you would like.

Step 2: Get to know the details

The nitty gritty details of Will preparation varies from state to state in Australia. However, there are some basic requirements that you should know before starting.

  • When making a Will, you must be over 18 years old, and you must understand what you are doing. This is known as "testamentary capacity".
  • The Will must be in writing. Handwritten or typed.
  • You must sign the Will in front of two witnesses over the age of 18. They must also sign the Will. Witnesses can’t be beneficiaries to your Will, so be sure to choose witnesses that won't be receiving anything.

Step 3: Make some personal decisions

You'll need to decide on beneficiaries – these are the people you would like to pass your assets on to. In most cases, beneficiaries are loved ones such as children, close friends or spouses.

But you'll also want to carefully consider who you are involving in your Will. Your Will doesn't just decide who inherits your assets, but also who looks after your children, who is responsible for your estate, and other important matters.

These choices are highly personal, so have a good think about who you choose. Just because you trust someone with your money, doesn’t mean they're the best person to raise your kids!

Step 4: Appoint an executor, trustee and guardians

"Appointing" is the official step to choosing the people who will look after your affairs when you are gone.

You'll need to appoint:

  • Executors: an executor is the person who "executes" or carries out the terms of your Will. Among other things, they make sure your chosen beneficiaries actually get the assets you're passing on to them.
  • Trustees: a trustee is the person who you nominate to handle assets that are held in a trust. They may be the same person who you appoint as your executor.
  • Guardians: if you have children that still require parental care, Guardians are the people who will care for them.

Choose the right person for the right role, and make sure they can work together effectively. The last thing you want is executors or trustees with competing interests. This means if anything in your life significantly changes, such as a divorce or a new family member, it’s important to update your Will as soon as possible.

Step 5: Keep your Will in a safe place

This may be obvious, but keeping your Will secure is very important. Put it in a secure place where you can also easily access it (in case it needs to be updated quickly). At Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, we can store Wills for people, ensuring complete safety and ensuring they are on hand should any changes be required.

Be prepared to update your Will quickly

Life happens. So naturally, a Will is a document that's always changing. If circumstances change, it's important to update your Will as soon as possible. This may involve some tough conversations, but it's always for the best.

Creating or updating a Will can be a life-changing situation. At Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, we provide sensitive, expert advice to help you create the best Will possible. So contact us today to see how we can help you.

Get started, plan your estate today

Book your consultation with an expert lawyer to create five vital documents.

  • A standard Will
  • Enduring Power of Attorney
  • Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker
  • Advance Care Directive
  • Statement of Wishes
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Andrew Simpson

National Head of Wills and Estate Planning, Wills and Estates

"The most rewarding part of my work is helping people obtain access to estate funds in circumstances where they are in financial need, which can be life changing."

Kim Shaw

Executive Director, National Head of Personal Legal Services, Wills and Estates

'I am passionate about helping people know their rights and ensure they receive their lawful entitlements at a time of significant disruption and anxiety in their lives.'

Andrew Meiliunas

Senior Associate, State Litigation Leader, Wills and Estates

"It is important for clients to achieve a just and reasonable outcome and I’m proud that I can help make that happen."

Alex Maxwell

Lawyer, Wills and Estates

"It is very rewarding to know I am helping people who have placed their trust in me."

Catherine Iliadis

Lawyer, Wills and Estates

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