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Wills and Will Kits - Legal123.com.au

Wills and Will Kits - Legal123.com.au

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http://legal123.com.au/personal-and-family/will-kit/ - Wills and Will Kits
http://legal123.com.au/personal-and-family/will-kit/ - Wills and Will Kits

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Published by: Legal123.com.au on Oct 20, 2010
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10/31/2010

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 Will Kit
A WILL OR TESTAMENT is a legal document, formally declaring how your assetsare to be distributed after your death.
A Will gives you the opportunity to provide for your family, dependents and friends afteryou die. Anyone over 18 years of age or under 18 and married or who has obtained aCourt Order to make a Will, is qualified to make a Will.
 A Will must be:
 
In writing
 
Signed by the person making it in the presence of 2 'independent' witnesses
 
Dated at the time of signing and witnessing, and
 
Made by a person of his or her own free will, without pressure from anyone
In addition to the standard Will, our Will Kit includes:
 
A 'Codicil' for easily making minor changes to your Will, and
 
Detailed instructions for completing, signing, witnessing and safeguardingWatch out! “Free” Wills offered by Trustee Companies usually charge around 5% or morein fees for administering your Estate upon your death – maybe more depending on theindividual State legislation and size of your estate!
Will Kit Form23.08.2010Copyright 2010 www.Legal123.com.au1 of 5
 
 
 Will Kit: More Information & FAQs
 Who needs to have a Will?
Almost every adult Australian should have a Will. But amazingly over 55% of Australianadults do not have a Will. Even more amazingly, approximately 45% of Australians diewithout a Will – in legal terminology this is called dying ‘intestate’.Most Wills are very straightforward to prepare. So don't get caught out – prepare a Will.Here are some stages-in-life when you should consider making or amending your Will:
 
Just married or re-married (marriage revokes any previous Will)
 
Moving in together or entering into a defacto (i.e. long term) relationship
 
Getting separated or divorced (divorce does not automatically revoke a Will)
 
Buying a house/apartment/land or other significant asset
 
Buying or starting a business, and
 
Turning 18 years old
 Why would I
need 
a Will?
There are several important reasons why you may need a Will:
 
To protect your assets (your ‘Estate’)
 
To provide for the future of your family and loved ones
 
To decide who will receive your assets (your ‘Beneficiaries’)
 
To appoint someone to look after and distribute your assets (your ‘Executor’)
 
To reduce the fees and taxes which result from dying without a Will (or ‘Intestate’)
 
To reduce the costs and stress to your family members of dying without a Will, and
 
Without a Will, legislation determines how your assets are distributed
 When do I need to amend my Will?
You should amend your Will when there is a significant change in your circumstances. Forexample, getting married or buying a house. However, there are also 2 important timeswhen you may need to amend your will:
 
A person named in your Will dies or becomes incapacitated, or
 
You change your mind about one of the Beneficiaries of your Will
 Who may make a Will?
There are 3 commonsense criteria you must satisfy before making a Will. You must be:
 
Over the age of 18 years (or have an enabling court order)
 
Of ‘sound mind’ and competent enough to make decisions about your assets, and
 
Not under ‘undue influence’ or ‘coerced’ in any way while making your WillChances are, if you satisfy the above criteria when making a Will, your wishes will not haveany trouble being upheld in Australian Courts.
 What happens if I die without a Will?
In legal terminology, dying without a valid Will in place is called dying ‘intestate’. The legalprocedures for dealing with your assets become more complicated, time-consuming andcostly – and may cause more distress and hardship to your family.If you die without a Will, the law will decide how your assets are divided and who willdistribute the assets (called ‘the Adminstrator’). The legislation governing estates of persons who die without a Will may not match what you want to happen to your assets –meaning your assets are distributed against your wishes.
Will Kit Form23.08.2010Copyright 2010 www.Legal123.com.au2 of 5
 
 
Your assets will usually pass to your closest family, for example, your surviving spouse orpartner, and to your children. If you do not have a spouse or children, your Estate usuallywould then go to your next closest relatives: your parents, followed by your siblings. In theabsence of any living relatives, or if they cannot be located, your Estate will pass on to theGovernment.Often a Government Trustee is appointed to perform this function and will charge a largefee to do so. In addition, your Estate may be subject to additional taxes which could havebeen avoided by having a valid Will in place.
I've heard that if I get married, my Will is no longer valid. Is this true?
In most Australian States, your Will is automatically revoked by both marriage and divorce.If you made a Will before you got married, it will automatically be revoked when you marryunless it was made with a particular person/marriage contemplated and referred to in theWill. So if you marry, it is more than likely you will need to amend your Will.
If I change my address will this invalidate my Will?
No, your address and those of your witnesses are only included to assist in identification of people who are named in your Will. You do not need to write a new Will if you change youraddress.
Can I change my Will after I have signed it?
Yes, you can change your Will at any time and as often as you wish after it is signed. Thebest and "cleanest" way to change it is to make a new Will. However, if the changes areminor, for example adding a gift or changing Executors, instead of writing a new Will youcould use what is called a 'Codicil'. Be sure to only use a Codicil if the changes are minorsince they can cause complications in some States.
Is a Codicil included in your Will Kit?
Yes, the Will Kit that Legal123 provides goes a little further than just a standard Will. Itincludes 3 things:
 
A standard Will (with some basic rules to follow)
 
A Codicil for making minor changes (e.g. adding gifts or changing Executor), and
 
Detailed instructions for completing, signing, witnessing and safeguardingThe Codicil is a very useful addition. It allows you to make minor changes to your will andis usually only one page long. If your changes are more involved, it’s always best to write anew Will.The Will template that Legal123 provides is very easy to use and comes with online videoinstructions – walking you through each input field of the template. Re-writing your Will isreally quite easy.
 Why make my own Will?
There are several good reasons to make your own Will:
 
You will understand it better
 
You can take your time deciding who to distribute your assets to
 
You can amend your Will whenever your circumstances or wishes change
 
You will save money by writing your own Will, and
 
You will save money by appointing your own Executor
Will Kit Form23.08.2010Copyright 2010 www.Legal123.com.au3 of 5

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