Making a will may seem like a daunting or unenjoyable task. However, its an important one. About 50% of all Australians pass away without ever writing a will. This can cause headaches for families left behind, who are already going through a very stressful period in their lives.
Where your situation is complicated (such as you have trusts or overseas property), then its prudent to engage a Wills and Estate Planning lawyer to help you.
Where your situation is relatively straightforward, you can write a will on your own, using an Australian Will Kit.
Tips for how to write a will on your own
Read the instructions in your Australian Will Kit
You may be the person who never reads a manual, but its important that you carefully read the instructions and follow the will template to ensure that you’re writing your will correctly and that your will is properly structured.
Choose an objective witnesses
Choose two witnesses to your will who are independent (they will not receive anything under your will).
Also consider choosing an executor who is younger than you, so that it is more likely that they’ll outlive you.
Talk about your will with your family
Speak with your family about your wishes and if they have any questions or thoughts about their inheritance. If this isn’t sorted out beforehand, it could cause conflict when you pass away.
Be as clear as possible
You need to identify heirs not just with their name but also with their date of birth, where they live and what kind of relationship you have with them. If you are giving your home to a relative, be exact about the property and include a description, not simply the address.
Consider alternatives when you write a will
When you write a will, its wise to consider different alternatives. For example, if one family member is no longer around to inherit, you can specify who the inheritance will go to instead.
Keep your will updated
As time goes on, you might buy more property, there may be a birth, death, retirement or divorce in the family. This means that you will need to update your will to reflect your new circumstances. Make sure you regularly update your will.