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THE IMPORTANCE + LEGAL REQUIREMENTS OF CREATING A WILL IN NSW

INTRODUCTION:

Creating a Will is a fundamental step in securing the future of your loved ones and ensuring your wishes are honoured. This blog aims to provide insight into the importance and legal requirements when creating your Will.


THE IMPORTANTANCE OF A WILL

There are several reasons why the creation of your Will is important, these can include:

  1. Asset Distribution: A Will allows you to specify how your assets should be distributed after your passing. This includes financial assets, real estate, personal belongings, and more. Without a Will, the distribution may follow legal intestacy rules, which might not align with your preferences.

  2. Guardianship of Dependents: For individuals with minor children or dependents, a Will is crucial for appointing a guardian. This ensures that someone you trust will take on the responsibility of caring for your children in the event of your death.

  3. Minimising Family Disputes: A well-drafted Will can help prevent disputes among family members. Clear instructions and a thoughtful distribution of assets can reduce the likelihood of disagreements or legal challenges among beneficiaries.

  4. Contingency Planning: Life is unpredictable. A Will allows to you to plan for unforeseen circumstances, such as the death of beneficiaries or changes in your financial situation, by including contingency provisions.


LEGAL REQUIREMENTS IN NSW - DOTTING THE I'S AND CROSSING THE T'S

In NSW, there are specific legal requirements that must be met for a Will to be considered valid. These requirements are in place to ensure the authenticity of the document and that the testator's wishes are accurately represented. Here are the key legal requirements:

  1. Testator's Capacity: The person creating the Will, known as the testator, must have the mental capacity to understand the nature and effect of making a Will. They should be of sound mind and not under the influence of any external factors that could compromise their decision-making ability.

  2. Voluntariness: The creation of the Will must be voluntary, without any undue influence or coercion from others. The testator should be making decision based on their own free will.

  3. Age Requirement: In NSW, the legal age to make a Will is 18-years-old. However, there are exceptions for individuals who are married, in a registered relationship, or are enlisted members of the Australian Defence Force.

  4. In Writing: The Will must be in writing, whether it's typed or handwritten. Oral Wills, also known as nuncupative Wills, are generally not recognised in NSW.

  5. Signed by the Testator: The testator must sign the Will at the end of the document or acknowledge the signature in the presence of two or more witnesses.

  6. Witnesses: Two witnesses, who are not beneficiaries or spouses of beneficiaries, must witness the testators signature.

  7. Revocation of Previous Wills: If the testator has previously made a Will, the new Will should explicitly revoke any prior Wills made to avoid confusion or conflicts in the administration of the estate.


If you or someone you know has any questions, or would like to create a Will, please call our office on 6742 2122 to book an appointment.


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