The safest and easiest way to revoke, or cancel, your Will or estate document is to make a new document. This new document will then be declared as your last Will or most current estate planning document. Making a new version automatically makes all previous documents of the same type void.
Writing a will has never been so easy.
Whether your estate is simple or complex we have an option for you. It’s simple, can be done from home and much more affordable than the traditional options.
DIY Online Will
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- 1:1 consultation with Wills lawyer
- Bespoke Will, as per your instructions
- Follow-up consultation where needed
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Estate Planning Kit
- Everything in Bespoke Will, plus
- Power of Attorney
- Appt of Medical Decision Maker
- Advanced Care Directive
Frequently asked questions.
Your Will does not need to be lodged or submitted anywhere. Keep a copy in a safe but accessible place and give another copy, or the original, to your executor or solicitor. The common approach is to not keep your original Will at your place of residence, because if the property is destroyed by fire your Will may never be found. You can store your Will at your bank, usually in a safe deposit box or envelope with any mortgage documents. If it’s stored under both your name and the name of your executor, they will have authorised access at the time when they need it.
After you have finished filling out your Will Form it must be printed then signed. Signing the Will correctly is vital to ensure it is valid.
The Will-maker (testator) and both witnesses must be present at the same time of signing. They must also use the same pen to sign and date the Will Form, including any additional pages or correction notations (codicils) added to your Will. Use a black or dark blue pen.
Signing each page of the Will is extremely important, to ensure absolute certainty that extra pages have not been inserted, removed or replaced later. You and each of your witnesses MUST be present together to sign the Will Form. The three of you will need to sign the bottom of each page of your Will. The witnesses will need to write in their full name and address, this usually is done on the last page of the Will. Don’t forget, the three of you must use the same pen, so take turns signing and filling in the details.
Aside from not having a witness sign the document, the Will-maker can sometimes pass away without themselves having finalised and signed it. If it’s not signed, it’s simply not valid. So ensure you don’t forget this vital step.
Your chosen executor should be someone you can trust to make decisions about your estate. People generally nominate their spouse, sibling, an adult child, or some other close family member or friend. Others may choose a solicitor, however, it is not necessary to hold any professional qualifications to be an executor.
Other considerations include a person’s organisation skills, ability to manage details, their knowledge of all beneficiaries’ whereabouts and their travel time to the beneficiaries. If the person you choose moves to another country, it may be easier to write a new Will that nominates a different person to perform the task.
Your executor cannot be a witness to the signing of the Will, however they can be a beneficiary, providing they are 18 years of age or older. They must also be willing to take on the task.
Wills and estate plans shouldn’t be a ‘set and forget’ approach, but reviewed every few years or whenever there is a significant change to your personal or financial circumstances. For example, it’s wise to make a new Will, as soon as possible, if:
- there is a change in your relationship: if you marry, divorce, separate, have children, or enter into or end a de facto relationship;
- you buy or sell a major asset like a house or car. Any items that you’ve listed as specific bequests will need to be updated if they are no longer in your possession;
- you, or anyone else named in your Will changes their name;
- your executor has died since you wrote your Will, or if they are unable to execute your Will for some reason.
A Will is probably the most important document you’ll ever make in your life. Getting your affairs in order while you are still enjoying sound mental health allows you to make these important legal decisions now, before it’s too late.
Making a Will allows you to:
- ensure your assets will provide for your children and other dependants after you die;
- nominate the executor, or executors, of your estate, who will distribute the assets to the beneficiaries as per your written instructions;
- safeguard your family from the possible stress of an unknown executor taking ownership of your estate;
- make your exact wishes known about who will benefit from your estate after you die;
- gift specific family heirlooms or sentimental items to those who you think will most treasure them;
- replace any previous Wills that may be outdated if your relationships or other circumstances have changed.
If there is no Will, it is most common that the next of kin of the deceased will apply to the Court for Letters of Administration. The distribution of the estate would then occur in accordance with particular rules of intestacy. The rules of intestacy are a set of rules that determine exactly who will receive a benefit from the estate and in what proportions.