Online Will and Will Review
What is a Will?
A Will is a written document which declares a person’s testamentary intentions (how you would like your estate to be distributed on your death).
For a Will to be valid in Victoria, it must meet a number of legal requirements which are set out in the Wills Act 1997.
Get Your Will Reviewed
If you want a review of your online Will, or you would like your old will reviewed, please upload it, for a charge of $185.
Key components of a Will
- Revocation of prior Wills;
- Application of the Will – that is which jurisdictions it may apply to, eg all Australian assets or worldwide assets;
- Appointment of an executor;
- Funeral directions; and
- Directions to the executor regarding the distribution of your estate (your testamentary intentions).
Key Estate Planning Terms
Testator – the person making the testamentary declaration, also known as the Willmaker.
Executor – the person or trustee company appointed to administer the Will of the testator.
Trustee – the person or trustee company appointed to administer and manage any funds to be held on trust for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.
Beneficiary – the person or persons named in the Will to receive a gift or share in the testator’s estate.
Guardian – the person or persons nominated by the testator to be the caregiver for the testator’s minor children.
Estate – describes the assets owned by the testator at his or her time of death.
Legacy – a gift of money to a beneficiary.
Bequest/Devise – a specific gift to a nominated beneficiary; eg I give my engagement ring to my sister Samantha.
Testamentary Trust – a structure created by the terms of a Will. The trustee holds the testator’s assets for the benefit of a specific beneficiary or group of beneficiaries or for a specific purpose. Depending on the terms of the trust the beneficiary may be entitled to receive part or all of the income each year until the trust vests (ends).
Issues for you to consider before preparing your Will
- How do you own your assets;
- Who will you appoint as your executor;
- Who is entitled to benefit from your estate;
- Who do you wish to you leave your estate to;
- The personal and financial circumstances of your beneficiaries;
- If you have minor children, who will act as their guardian; and
- Your Funeral wishes.
Who should you appoint as your executor?
- Someone who is likely to outlive you;
- Someone who has the time available to administer your estate;
- Someone who is financially confident; and
- Someone you trust.
Who can challenge your Will?
The law recognises that an individual has the authority to deal with their estate on death as they wish, however there is also legislation in place to protect those persons who the testator had a moral responsibility to provide for.
There are categories of people who may challenge a Will, set out in Part IV of the Probate and Administration Act 1958 (Vic).
As each case is decided on their individual facts and merits it is advised you contact your solicitor to discuss your particular circumstances, to see if you can avoid having your Will challenged.