4 Things You Should Know When Writing Your Will

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The truth is, most people do not give much thought to wills. In most cases, they write this document and expect their families to follow the stipulated instructions to the letter. However, this is not always the case. If you intend to write a will, below are a few things that you should know. 

1. Your Will Could Be Declared Void 

There are specific rules on how you should write a will in Australia. If you fail to comply with these rules, your will cannot pass the probate process. For instance, two witnesses should see you sign the will. Hire a wills and estates lawyer to ensure that your will meets the required legal guidelines. 

2. Your Beneficiaries Can Dispute The Will 

In some cases, the people whom you wish to bequeath your property will dispute the will. For example, a dependent could claim that their inheritance is not adequate. Another could argue that you were under coercion when writing the will. In some cases, malicious beneficiaries will provide a fake will that favours them. Your wills and estate lawyer will help you create a watertight will. Typically, they will start by appraising your estate and asking you if some of the beneficiaries could dispute your wishes. If they will, you could include a letter explaining your actions. Your witnesses must be trustworthy individuals who can testify that you were in your right state of mind. 

3. Conduct Due Diligence On Your Executor

Once the will passes probate, your estate falls into the hands of the executor. Typically, this individual will manage the estate, settle debts and taxes and transfer properties to beneficiaries as per the terms of the will. The executor should be someone who works in your best interests. Your beneficiaries could take the executor to court if they detect an ill motive. When this happens, the court will ask beneficiaries to appoint an executor among themselves. Internal wrangles could complicate this process since each person wants someone that protects their interests in the estate. Avoid this by ensuring the will has more than one executor.  

4. Think Long Term When Creating Trusts

If you wish to create a trust, your lawyer will examine your situation and advise which trust best suits your needs. For example, a family trust empowers the trustee to make decisions, while a unit trust renders them powerless. Your lawyer will help you create the terms of the will. They help protect the property or assets under the trust. For instance, a specified amount could go into managing or maintaining the assets. Besides, the beneficiaries could be required to meet specified requirements before they can manage their inheritance. 

A wills and estates lawyer will guide you through the ropes of estate administration and writing your will. Their input will ensure that your will is followed to the letter.