When should I make a Will?

Ideally every adult should have a Will and should keep it up to date. Only an up-to-date and valid Will will ensure that the testator’s (maker of the Will) wishes are carried out on death. Please see the list of prompts to make a Will and to update it.

Is a Will from willHQ.com legal?

A willHQ.com Will is fully legal and compliant with all the requirements for the creation of a valid Will. The templates have been created by accredited and experienced legal professionals and are acceptable for probate and legal purposes throughout Australia and New Zealand.

What happens if I die without a Will?

Your assets and possessions will be disposed of according to state law (Australia) or national law (New Zealand). While all intestacy law is broadly similar, there are differences regarding the proportions and amounts distributed to each party and these are unlikely to reflect the specific wishes of the testator.

The second, and probably more important, impact of dying without a will is that it causes considerable delays in settling the estate and will almost certainly result in thousands or tens of thousands in legal fees, depending on the size and complexity of the situation.

Why make a Will if I don’t own a house?

Because you may have a car or some money and if you don’t record your wishes, it will go to relatives according to probate law rather than to the people you wish to give it to.

Your estate will also end up paying more legal fees than you would like.

Why make a Will if I’m not married?

For the same reason as above… if you want your any of your assets to go to specific people or in specific manner (say everything to your husband/wife/partner) then you must put your wishes in a Will; if you don’t the law determines who gets what and how much of it.

Will my Will recognise my de facto partner?

You can name anyone in your Will as you wish, but probate law treats married and unmarried partners equally for the purposes of inheritance.

What should I include in my Will?

All assets and possessions that you wish to pass to your beneficiaries on your death. However, once you list specific gifts, donations and bequests that you wish to go to named individuals, you may simply pass your RESIDUAL ESTATE to your heirs in your chosen proportions. For example:

“I leave my car to my partner; I leave 70% of the residue of my estate to my partner with the remaining 30% to be divided equally among my surviving children”.

What should I exclude from my Will?

Assets in joint names do not need to be specifically included as the surviving owner will automatically gain possession in the case of joint bank accounts; if the deceased has life assurance or superannuation with nominated beneficiaries then these should also be excluded as the named person will receive the benefits of these policies.

If property is held in joint names it may be included in the Will, though the transfer of title of any registered property must follow a process that means such a bequest will be handled correctly and in accordance with legal requirements.

Who should I appoint as executor?

Your executor can be anyone you trust to administer your estate in accordance with your wishes. This person(s) must act in accordance with the law and must act honestly and in the best interests of the beneficiaries named in the Will. The executor can be a beneficiary of the Will or an unrelated professional who is paid to undertake the administration duties. The executor cannot be a witness to the Will.

Should I appoint more than one executor?

It is a good idea to appoint more than one executor in case the first one named is not able to act. However, because willHQ.com encourages you to regularly update your Will you will have the opportunity to update your executors regularly.

Is an executor normally paid?

If administering the estate involves time and cost the executor is always allowed reasonable expenses. willHQ.com provides for the relevant options. The executor must be aware of his or her legal responsibility to administer the estate for the benefit of the heirs, even if he or she is to be paid.

If I use willHQ.com do I also need a lawyer to review my Will?

willHQ.com is designed to create and maintain Wills for most adults. If you intend leaving your assets and possessions to specific named individuals, usually direct family, perhaps friends and to some charities, then willHQ.com provides a comprehensive solution and the resulting Will does not need to be reviewed by a lawyer.

The Will templates provided in the system have been prepared be senior lawyers specialising in Wills and probate law and are fully acceptable throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Is an electronic copy of a Will valid?

NO. The law requires that every Will be hard copy, and be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses, who also sign.

May a beneficiary witness the Will?

NO. A witness, or the spouse/partner of a witness, may not be a beneficiary of a Will.