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A Will (also known as a Last Will and Testament) is a legal document setting out the wishes of a person in relation to their assets after they have passed away.
Your Will should clearly and concisely describe the distribution of your assets to other parties (known as beneficiaries) and should be regularly updated using the services of one of our lawyers.
Some people are prepared to risk their life savings by preparing their own Will using a newsagent Will kit, or even by failing to prepare a Will at all, which will result in an intestacy.
If you die intestate (that is, without a Will, without appointing executors, or if your executors predecease you or otherwise cannot act) you may leave your preferred beneficiaries without sufficient means of support.
There are many aspects to consider when drafting your Will, including who will act as your primary and substitute executor(s), who you will be your beneficiaries, and in what proportions you will divide your estate.
If you have children, you may wish to make a distribution to them under what is known as a “testamentary trust”, whereby you appoint a trustee to manage their distribution until a particular event occurs (for example, they reach a certain age).
You also need to consider whether you have made adequate provision to family members entitled to make a claim (known as a Family Provision Application (FPA)) against your estate.
There are other important aspects to consider, including tax implications.
In that regard, please see Estate Planning.
Ask to speak to a lawyer at our Townsville or Ingham office about preparing a Will drafted in accordance with your wishes.
We can also give you legal advice about making a claim against an estate if you believe a fair distribution of an estate has not been made.