What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document which details your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and belongings after you die. A Will can appoint a guardian for your children if they are under 18 years old when you die. It also allows you to appoint an executor to distribute your assets according to your wishes.
Why do I need a Will?
If you want your assets and belongings to be distributed in a particular way upon your death, you must have a Will. That is, if you want your spouse, children or relatives to receive your property after you die, you must have a Will.
Some of the reasons why you may consider having a Will include:
- it allows you have a say on how your assets and belongings will be distributed;
- it allows your assets to be transferred smoothly on your death;
- if you have children, it provides security for your children’s future;
- if you have children under 18, it allows you to nominate a guardian.
What happens if I die without a Will?
If you die without a Will:
- your assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. In Qld these are contained in the Succession Act;
- you will have no say on who administers your estate upon your death; and
- you will have no say on who is appointed as guardian of your children if they are under 18 years of age when you die.
Can I prepare my own Will?
You can prepare your own Will, however, you run the risk that if you do not comply with the formal requirements and the relevant law relating to Wills, your loved ones may be left with costly legal proceedings.
Do I have to review and update my Will?
You should review and update your will as your circumstances will change over time.
You may consider updating your will if:
- you have a child/children;
- you have a grandchild/grandchildren;
- you marry or divorce;
- your spouse or partner dies;
- death of the executor or beneficiary;
- home or property changes.
More information abour making a Will.