What is a Will?
If you have any assets, then you need a Will. If you do not have a Will, then the laws of Intestacy will apply, which means that those who wish to benefit from your Estate may not receive anything.
The laws of Intestacy also determine who will be your Administration. An Administrator is appointed when there is no valid Will and is the alternative term for an Executor.
You should contact a legal practitioner to assist you with setting up your Will correctly and ensuring it set out your wishes for the Estate.
What do I need to include in my Will?
In summary, you should appoint your Executor/s, any alternative Executor/s, any specific gifts and legacies, as well as the residuary beneficiaries of your Estate (who you would like to inherit).
If you wish to exclude someone from your Will, you should explain why you have not provided for that person (if you believe you have a moral obligation to provide for them). You should seek professional advice if you intend to exclude someone from your Will who would have otherwise been entitled to part of your Estate.
You can include other things in your Will for burial/cremation/funeral, guardianship, organ donation, and provision for pets and contributions to charities.
What is a Testator?
A Testator is a name given to a person who generates a Will. According to Australia’s law and norms, a Will needs to be prepared by any conscious/mentally stable person above 18. If you are under 18 but married, you can also make a Will.
What is an Executor?
After your death, your Executor manages your Estate, and it can be a difficult decision to ensure you appoint the correct person/s as your Executor/s. You can appoint up to four Executors to collaborate; however, it is ideal if only two or three are set. They must arrange your funeral, redeem all of your assets, pay any liabilities and manage your Estate. You should ensure that your Executor is a person you trust and who will do the right thing for your beneficiaries. Your Executor can also be a beneficiary of your Will.
Procedure for a Will in Werribee, Victoria
There is a procedure to follow while making a Will and also some considerations while making the same.
1. The signing of Will
The Will must witness by at least two people, and it should be written. Witnesses should also sign each page of the Will, and the testator and witness must use the same pen. They should use different cells when signing.
An insufficient amount of witnesses are common errors people make when attempting to create their own Will. Not only may your Will be considered invalid, but it can also create enormous problems for your loved ones who are left to try to prove to the Court that you signed the Will.
2. Keep a copy of your Will
Once you have correctly signed your Will, you should keep a copy for yourself and advise your Executor where the original Will is being held. In Victoria, Will are not required to be registered. If you wish to register your Will, the Victorian Will Bank (State Trustees) is one option where you can store it. If a solicitor prepares your Will, it is usual that they will keep the original deeds safe and provide you with a signed or unsigned copy for your records.
3. Update your Will
Your Will needs to be up-to-date and in line with changes in your circumstances. Even if you have a Will, it should be regularly revised to ensure it is still applicable to your current situation. There have been many times when a person’s Will is inadequate, and their assets have gone to someone the deceased did not benefit.