- A Will or Last Testament is a legal document outlining how your assets will be distributed after your death. It’s important to ensure all your affairs are in order and your loved ones will be looked after.
- This article will give you a breakdown on how to create a legally binding Will without having to pay for a lawyer.
- This article should not be taken as legal advice. If you need to seek legal consult, please ensure you speak with a lawyer. State Trustees are backed by the Victorian State Government and have been providing support to everyday Australians for years when it comes to their wills.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one Australian dies every 3 minutes and 13 seconds. It’s an alarming statistic and it raises a lot of questions around what happens after someone passes away. If you haven’t yet created a Will and are over the age of 18, it’s time to give it some serious thought.
Why do I need a Will?
Having a Will is the only way to ensure that your assets will be distributed the way you want after your death. It helps to avoid potential arguments between family members and allows the lawyers and courts to better understand your wishes.
If you die without a Will, the court will decide how your estate and assets will be distributed which is usually carried out according to a legal formula. This means there’s no opportunity to leave gifts or objects to friends and grandchildren, as these wishes aren’t carried out if you die without a Will. Additionally, there’s excess fees and charges involved which means your heirs end up receiving less and losing more money to taxes.
According to statistics, around 50% of Australians don’t have a valid Will. While the exact reasons aren’t known, it’s probably a combination of not being sure how to create one and trying to ignore our own mortality. Regardless, it’s always important to have your affairs in order as you never know what could happen tomorrow.
Luckily, it’s Will Month in March which means it’s the perfect time to get your affairs in order (and it’s probably the motivation you needed to do so). In fact, if you needed any more motivation, State Trustees are currently offering a 20% discount on their will services whether you’re looking to do it online or during an in-person consultation.
When should I write a Will?
You’re never really too young to write a Will. In fact, anyone over the age of 18 should probably have one. There are also a few instances where you should make amendments to your Will, which include:
- Getting married or re-married.
- Entering into a de facto relationship or moving in with someone.
- Getting separated or divorced.
- Buying a house/apartment or other significant asset.
- Buying or starting a business.
- Turning 18 years old.
What is the easiest way to create a Will without a lawyer?
While it is possible to create a Will without involving lawyers or legal professionals, the potential for the document to be disputed is higher. Certain life changes (like divorcing your spouse) have the potential to void an existing Will and the exact laws surrounding Wills also differ slightly in each state. Given all this, it’s extremely important to do plenty of research before attempting it on your own.
If you’re concerned about something going wrong or you don’t trust your relatives, you might want to purchase a will kit from a reputable provider. These are relatively affordable (especially compared to hiring a lawyer) and will provide step-by-step instructions complete with detailed templates.
If you’re looking for a reliable option, State Trustees are backed by the Victorian State Government and have been providing support to everyday Australians for years when it comes to their wills. They offer a variety of packages from a DIY will kit ($25.50) to an online will ($96) and in-person consultations. It’s a fully-guided experience that makes the entire process less daunting. Plus, they’re currently offering 20% off all their packages so there’s never been a better time to get everything in order.