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What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is preparing your affairs and the relevant documents to ensure that your loved ones can manage your affairs in the event you become incapacitated or your passing. This provides your loved ones with your direction and guidance to ensure your wishes are upheld regarding your estate and any direction for your care and welfare if you become incapacitated.

A will is a legally enforceable document that sets out your wishes and directions for your loved ones in the event of your passing including how you would like your assets distributed, whether you would like any gifts to be given and whether you would like any specific gifts to be made to charities. You can also include directions for the care of any minor children, and any burial or funeral requests.

WHAT IS estate plan or will?

A Will is a legal document that allows you to determine how your estate will be distributed after your death. This includes your money, property, shares, investments, and possessions. Having a valid Will ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, rather than being left to chance.

Simple Will: A simple Will is suitable for individuals who:

  • Do not have complex family situations, such as step-children or a blended family.
  • Do not run a business, have a self-managed super fund, or a family trust.


Complex Will: A complex Will is necessary for individuals who:

  • Have children (including adult children) from a previous relationship.
  • Operate a business, have a family trust, or a self-managed super fund.
  • Have beneficiaries with special needs (such as a disability or an inability to manage money) and wish to discuss ways to protect them.


By understanding the differences between a simple and complex Will, you can ensure that your estate is managed and distributed in a manner that aligns with your specific circumstances and wishes.

Keeping your Will and Estate Plan up to date ensures that your wishes are followed and your loved ones do not enter prolonged probate. Your Estate Plan or Will should be updated any time there is a significant change in your life or your wealth.


The laws governing the preparation of a valid legal Will in Australia vary by state; however, some basic requirements are consistent across all states.

First, you must have testamentary capacity, which means you must be over 18 years old and understand the nature and effect of creating a Will. This ensures that you are legally capable of making decisions about the distribution of your estate.

Next, the Will must be in writing, whether it is handwritten, typed, or printed. This written document serves as a clear and permanent record of your intentions for your estate.

Additionally, your Will must be signed by you, and your signature must be witnessed by two individuals who are over the age of 18. These witnesses must be present at the time you sign the Will to verify its authenticity.

Finally, the two witnesses must also sign the Will in your presence. Their signatures confirm that they have witnessed you signing the document, adding an extra layer of validity to your Will.

By adhering to these requirements, you can ensure that your Will is legally valid and enforceable in Australia.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Can I use an Online Will Kit?

Will kits are an attractive option to save money on planning your estate. They are generally suited to younger people with little wealth and assets who do not own property or a business and wish to leave their assets to immediate family. These Kit’s should still be updated when there are significant changes in your circumstances.  While preparing your Will with an experienced lawyer may be a small investment now, it can save your loved ones the added stress and cost in the future if your Will was not accepted by the court during the probate application. Your estate doesn’t need to be wasted on lawyers and fees and can directly benefit your beneficiaries. Online or ‘mail in’ will kits are not suitable if you have accumulated wealth and assets such as property, investments, or you run your own business. Complex Estate Plans should be created after a Face-to-Face consultation with an expert Will and Estate Lawyer.


Can I appoint more than one Executor?

Yes you can appoint more than one person to be your executor in the first instance, and they can jointly carry out their duties in administering your estate. You can also appointment someone in substitution in the case your first executor/s is unable to act for any reason.


Can I avoid my Estate being challenged?

It is impossible to avoid your estate being challenged as there is specific legislation which entitles certain people to challenge your estate if they meet the criteria. If you have a concern about your Will being challenged, we can assist in minimising the risk of your Will being challenged in conforming with all requirements and formalities and providing you with specific advice to avoid a challenge. It is important to have your Will prepared by a competent and experienced Will Lawyer as they have experience in preparing effective Wills. If you would like advice about the risk of your estate being challenged and how we can minimise this risk, contact us today to book a consultation with an experienced Wills Lawyer.


How can I change my will?

New changes should mean a new Will.  Once executed, a Will should not be added to, be pinned or stapled or have a paper clip attached to it, as this may cause your Will to be contested later on. If a Will is to be changed or revoked, it must be correctly done, or there may have disastrous implications. To ensure no complications arise from any changes you wish to make, you should create a whole new Will and destroy the old one. Be sure to keep your Will in a safe place and that your Executor knows where to find it.


Is Superannuaiton covered in my Will?

Superannuation death benefits do not automatically form part of the estate. Although a provision in a will can be of assistance in indicating a person’s wishes, it is usually not binding on the trustee of a superannuation fund.

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