A will is a legal document that outlines how your estate will be divided amongst your heirs. It also outlines how you debts will be repaid, and any other specific wishes you may have for your property. While it is important to write your will in close consultation with a lawyer, having a basic understanding of the will writing process can enable you to prepare a detailed and specific will.
Wills become more complicated as your assets and property increases. A lawyer can help you design complex wills that involve multiple assets and properties. The general will-writing process involves the following steps:
The introduction to the will specifies your name, address, and a testament of your age and sound state of mind. In the introduction, make sure you attest that it is your final will and statement, so it can supersede any previous wills you may have written.
Selecting the executor
The next step is to select the executor of the will. The executor is the person or entity that will carry out the instructions in the will. It can be a spouse, a personal lawyer, a child, or other friend/family member.
Make sure you notify the person you want to be the executor before writing the will so you may both be in agreement.
Identifying the heirs to the property
The will should clearly identify who your heirs are. Most people identify their spouses and children as the main heirs to the property. However, you are also free to include other people in the will. Make sure you clearly identify them. Also remember that in some states in Australia, the spouse has a legal right to inheritance.
Naming a guardian for dependent children
If you have any children who are under 18, you should specify who can act as a legal guardian on their behalf. If both parents will not be available to provide care, you should specify a person you trust and identify them as the legal guardian.
Dividing the property
This is the most important section of the will. Identify all your properties and assign them to the various people in percentages. Your assets may include real estate, insurance policies, stock and bonds, or bank accounts.
You can distribute them by saying, for example, your spouse will get 50% of your assets, you children will get 25%, etc. Specific pieces of property can also go to certain individuals.
Notarizing by a lawyer
For the document to become legally valid, it should be notarized by a lawyer. Make sure you seek out a trusted lawyer to review and sign the document. Lawyers can also provide critical advice on the content of the will.
For more information, contact local conveyancing services.