Many people feel making a will is only for the rich and famous. Dying intestate can be a very expensive decision. For example without a will how can your relatives prove to the relevant authorities who should get your house or car and who is the bank or Life insurance company going to release the funds to. This creates a lot of undue stress for your loved ones.
Should you pass-away intestate or without a properly executed will then your next of kin may be required to apply to the Supreme Court for Letters of Administration to deal with your property.
Should you feel that your estate is very modest and you do not wish to engage a lawyer to draft a will then you can get a will kit from the local post office. If followed prudently the will kit is a legally binding document and is sufficient in simplistic matters for example to leaving everything to the wife or husband.
This then raises the question why do i need a lawyer? This question was best answered by a Magistrate who sat in outback New South Wales. Quite often a person would ask the same question in Court and His Honour would reply “would you go to the dentist and pull your own teeth or go to the hospital and do your own operation.” Lawyers will advise what you can and cannot do in a will and draft the will using standardized terms that are well known to the court making sure your last wishes are adhered to.
The next question many people ask is “what is probate”
Probate is the process of sending your last will to the Supreme Court for the court to verify that this is your last will. In obtaining a grant of probate we must first advertise our intention to do so in the local newspaper, this gives the community the chance to produce a later will if one was in existence and after two weeks if no other will is found then the paperwork is sent to the Court.
Probate is necessary if there is more than $50,000 in any one banking facility or there is a nursing home bond to be collected, otherwise probate can be dispensed with.
So what is a will?
In layman’s terms a will is your absolute last say. The Courts have said to be a will it must be a Document that is intended to be a will and indended to dispose of property after death.
There was one case where a person was thrown out of his car in a single car accident, nobody else was around and he knew he was dying so he wrote his will in the dirt on the car door. The Court upheld that will even though it was not witnessed or properly executed.
Who Can Make a Will
Any person of sound mind over the age of 18 years
Can a Child or a Person of Unsound Mind Make a Will
Not without leave of the Court
How Can I Make my Will
Ring Bedford & Associates on 4153 5858