A Will is an important legal document where you could precisely set out how your assets will be distributed, who will receive the assets, when and how they will receive those assets when you die. It is surprising that despite the importance of having a Will, many people in Australia do not have a valid Will. A professionally drafted Will would ensure that your family is looked after when you die. This is why it is extremely important to seek professional assistance from a properly qualified and experienced Wills and Estate Solicitor when drafting your will.
Laws of Will Drafting and Execution in NSW:
The person who is making the will is called a Testator. A Testator must sign the Will in the presence of two witnesses. What happens when a Testator is unable to sign the Will for one reason or other? A Will is still valid if another person signs the Will on behalf of the Testator in accordance with the instruction of the Testator and in the presence of a Testator. Two other independent witnesses also need to sign the Will in the presence of the Testator. Another important thing to remember is that beneficiary should not be a witness to a Will.
Marriage, Divorce and Will:
Marriage revokes a Will. So if you get married after drafting your Will, that Will is invalid. Unlike marriage, a divorce does not revoke the entire Will. A divorce however revokes the gift to a former spouse. It is important to understand that if a subsequent Will does not deal with the gift to the former spouse, unfortunately that gift would then be dealt with intestacy rules with the consequence of extra cost and stress to your nearest person for whom you would have wanted to make provision for. The fact highlights the importance of updating you Will in every few years.
A Single Will and Overseas Assets:
Many immigrants who call Australia their home today have had an enormous amount of assets in overseas in their country of birth. The critical question here is whether it is possible to make a single Will where you could deal with your entire assets in Australia as well as in Overseas. The short answer is if your country is a signatory to the Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will 1973 (‘the Convention’), then it is possible to make a single International Will. In this situation, regard must be given to the fact that the provision in your Will does not override the local law of that particular country.
How Can K Group Legal Assist You?
If you do not have a Will or wish to update your existing Will because of the change in your personal circumstances such as marriage, divorce, or you acquired new assets since you last drafted your Will or an Executor of your Will dies then we can assist you in drafting your Will. Once you contact us, we will take your instructions and send you a Will Questionnaire Kit. We could also advise you as to the appointment of your Executor, appointing a testamentary Guardian if you have a child under 18, and what to do to the assets which are unable to be passed under your Wills such as Superannuation, Insurance Policies, your family business etc.