If you have property in your own name, you need a Will to properly set out your wishes for distributing your estate upon your death. McAuliffe Legal is able to give you the appropriate advice about your options and to prepare a Will for you. Special rules and documentation apply to superannuation funds.
You must be 18 years or older to make a Will and have legal capacity which means that you must be able to understand the nature and effect of the document you are signing, the nature and extent of your estate, and the people who may have a legitimate claim upon your estate.
In Western Australia, a Will is revoked by marriage and by divorce. If either of those events occurs, your Will is void and you will need to prepare a new Will at that time.
McAuliffe Legal can assist you to make a Will in contemplation of marriage or divorce which will overcome that issue.
If you pass away without a properly prepared Will, it can be expensive to deal with the legal issues that arise in administering the estate. If you do not have a Will, the estate will pass to family members set out in legislation called the Administration Act and may include one or more of your spouse (including a separated spouse), de facto partner, children, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, whether or not you want those people to benefit.
When you make a Will you will appoint a person to administer the estate after you pass away (the Executor), and specify who will receive the estate (the beneficiaries).
Drafting your own Will without appropriate advice may mean that the Will is ineffective by failing to:
- Deal with all of your assets, creating a partial intestacy and difficulties in administering the estate;
- Execute the Will properly in the presence of two independent witnesses;
- Appoint an Executor (or an appropriate Executor);
- Set out clearly your wishes as to the disposition of your estate.
Wherever you are in the south west region, it is important to receive professional advice about your Will to ensure that it accurately reflects your circumstances and that it will benefit your loved ones.