Do I need a Lawyer to prepare my Will?

Craig Dunne

We all know that there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. It would seem appropriate then that every Australian has a Last Will and Testament, right? One might imagine it hidden in their bottom drawer for that inevitable day. Yet, more than half of all Australians don’t have a Will. And many don’t even know what happens to their estate when they pass. These Australians risk dying intestate.

If you’re wondering how to make a Will legal without a lawyer, it’s possible to DIY. But if you’re no legal expert, then it might be best to consult with a team that cares about your well-being even after you pass. As a Law Office of Wills and Estate planning lawyers in Perth, we can provide you with the appropriate guidance, so you know what you should never put in your Will.

1. What is a Will?

A Last Will and Testament, often commonly referred to as a Will, serves as a legal document that declares the intention of the Testator concerning matters that the Testator wishes to effect after his/her death. These usually deal with burial or cremation wishes; what happens to real property and personal assets; and just as importantly, guardianship and care of minor children. Wills must comply with strict statutory requirements to be considered formally and legally valid. A Will that doesn’t comply with these requirements may risk expensive litigation in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, or even being found not to be enforceable at all. It’s critical to ensure that your Will doesn’t risk being found to be invalid if you want your intentions to survive. After all, there is no other opportunity to ask you at that critical time.

2. Peace of mind

Anyone can google the statutory requirements to prepare a Will, but how can you be certain that you have dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”? So don’t make the mistake of leaving your Executor, Trustee and family at risk of costly and lengthy Supreme Court litigation, simply because your Will doesn’t meet these requirements. Note that in the event of its absence, there is also the possibility that your Will is challenged by an aggrieved person who expected to be a beneficiary. You might think you’re saving money today, but you’d risk it costing your estate much more in the future.

Instead, speak to a lawyer who can walk with you step by step through your Estate Planning journey. Having a lawyer can alleviate the usual stress and anxiety that comes with writing your Will. Our team of Estate Planning lawyers can provide you with timely, accurate and concise legal advice to any concerns you may have when writing your Will. Have those concerns answered by legal professionals and don’t hold onto that stress and worry all by yourself.

If you run your own business and die intestate, this can have dire and catastrophic consequences on the operation and financial viability of your business. You’ve worked hard to create and run your business, so don’t risk its ruin after your passing.

Our experienced Estate Planning team can provide you with legal advice to ensure that what you wish to achieve with your estate is legally permitted and attainable. We’re here to help ensure that all your final wishes can be carried out.

3. Avoid creating legal problems

It’s better to avoid legal problems, especially when you’re not around to resolve them.

Our team of Estate Planning lawyers can assist you in tailoring a Will to your specific life circumstances. A Will can help you answer the following questions:

  • How do you plan on providing for your children in your Will?
  • Are there circumstances where you may wish to exclude abusive or neglectful children?
  • Do you have an upcoming wedding or are you finalising a divorce?

All of these and many other factors will need to be considered when preparing your Will. We’re well-equipped to walk with you every step of the way and provide you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Modern families are complicated and provide an ever more challenging environment for estate planning. How you include or exclude previous relationships, adult and minor children, children from blended families or vulnerable beneficiaries all need to be considered when preparing your Will. This helps you minimise the risk of unnecessary challenges to your Will.

4. A tax-efficient way to structure your affairs

DIY Wills often do not consider all the minutiae of your personal circumstances to create a tailored Will that meets all of your needs. These DIY Wills can inadvertently leave your assets exposed or your estate liable to pay unnecessary tax. You’ve worked hard over your lifetime to gather your assets and provide for your family, and now is the time to add value to your asset pool by properly protecting and structuring your estate. You can add more value to your estate through careful management of your estate structure.

It’s never too early to start planning for your future, so contact us to book your free initial 30-minute consultation and speak with one of our Estate Planning experts before it’s too late.

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