Will kits purchased at the newsagent or online wills which are now available appear to be a convenient, cheap and fast way of directing what is to happen to your assets on your death. But they can cause problems which can end up costing your estate a great deal of money.
• The Will may not be properly signed. The Wills Act sets out how a Will is to be properly signed. For example, the same pen must be used by the will-maker and by the witnesses. An affidavit may be required by the Probate Registry before it will grant Probate, with the witnesses having to be located.
• The Will may not be completed correctly by the will-maker and necessary sections may have been omitted.
• The will-maker may have attempted to give away assets they do not actually own, for example assets held in a trust or superannuation.
• A gift given in a Will may no longer exist.
• Beneficiaries may be included or excluded in error.
• The Will may be torn or damaged.
A lawyer will discuss with you your unique personal circumstances and assist you in drawing a Will tailored especially for you. They will discuss how your assets are held and the effect this has on your estate. They will discuss whether a discretionary trust should be considered and the likelihood of any potential claim against the estate for family provision. A lawyer will also ensure your Will is properly signed. Considering the effort accumulating the property you own, it is well worth giving careful consideration to what you would like happen to your assets when you die.