The Will - what is it?

Posted on 12 July 2012

A will is a written document in a special format that informs your family of what you want to happen to your property after your death. The will can also provide instructions on other matters such as nominating guardians for any minor children and listing funeral/burial arrangements.

A will MUST:

  • Be in writing
  • Be signed by the person who is making the will
  • Be witnessed by two independent witnesses
  • Be dated

Things to think about prior to drafting your will are as follows:

1. Who is to be your Executor & Trustee?

This is the person you nominate to carry out your wishes as per your will and distribute the assets as set out in the will.

This can be a difficult role and involves a lot of work. It is important to make sure that the person you nominate is able to undertake this role.

If there are minor children ensure that the executor understands that they are responsible for the children's assets until they reach 18 yrs or an age specified by you? Do they know what to do?

2. Who is to be the Guardian of any minor children?

Once a guardian has been decided, it is important that you speak to the guardian to make sure they will accept this appointment.

3. Who are your Beneficiaries?

What or how much of your estate do you want to give to your beneficiaries? Decide if you want to give any specific gifts?

Has anyone been left out of the will? It is important to understand that claims against estates can be costly, stressful and time consuming. To avoid these complications and the consequences of a challenge to your estate, discuss your wishes with your solicitor. Contact Dooley & Associates today to discuss making your will.